By now we are all aware that heart disease is the number one killer among men and women in the US. But here’s a new twist: how well your children sleep in their teenage years could have an impact on their ability to stave off cardiovascular problems in their adult lives.
A fresh study that I just read about online reveals that sleep-deprived teens, which includes teens who don’t get high-quality sleep, could be setting themselves up for heart disease later on. I was surprised to learn that this reflects the first study to look at the links between high blood pressure and sleep quality in healthy adolescents. That’s right: healthy adolescents.
So we’re not talking about special cases of teens out on the fringes of the bell curve who suffer from things like sleep apnea or other health problems. The researchers were also careful to rule out links explained by socioeconomic status. Bottom line: if your healthy kid is getting poor sleep, he or she is at risk for elevated blood pressure.