The following article was first published on my Sleep Disorders blog on WebMD:
Do you have high blood pressure?
If so, your problem could be caused by too much or too little sleep!
Recent research at the Boston University School of Medicine found that people who were sleeping above or below the recommended hours of daily sleep have an increased risk for hypertension.
Dr. Daniel Gottlieb, MD, MPH studied the responses of 2,813 men and 3,097 women, aged 40 to 100 years, to a questionnaire on sleep habits. He discovered that, compared to people sleeping between 7 and 8 hours per night, those sleeping less than 6 and between 6 and 7 hours per night, as well as those sleeping between 8 and 9 and 9 or more hours per night, had an increased prevalence of hypertension.
Gottlieb wrote "It suggests that adequate total sleep duration should be tested as a non-pharmacologic treatment modality in the management of patients with hypertension." Translated, that means that getting the right amount of sleep can be a good adjunctive treatment to your blood pressure pills. How do you know how much sleep you need? Try this little experiment:
- Determine what time you need to wake up; that is, without using the snooze button, what is the absolute last time you can wake?
- Now count backwards in units of 90-100 minutes 5 times. So count backwards 400-500 minutes
- If you must wake by 7:00am, going back 500 minutes says you need to go to bed at 11:00. When you wake you should feel well rested, and hopefully your blood pressure will be as well!
Try this method. If your blood pressure is lower, post a comment letting me know!