Chronic sleep deprivation can increase night time blood pressure, putting you at greater risk of heart diseases, warns new research.
"For the first time, we demonstrated that insufficient sleep causes increases in night time blood pressure and dampens nocturnal blood pressure dipping," say researchers at Mayo Clinic in the US.
The results stemmed from a controlled study that mimicked the sleep loss experienced by many people. High blood pressure, particularly during the night, is one of the major risk factors associated with heart disease.
In this study, eight healthy normal weight participants aged 19 to 36 participated in the study followed by nine days of either sleep restriction (four hours of sleep per night) or normal sleep (nine hours of sleep per night), and three days of recovery. Twenty four blood pressure monitorings at regular intervals were measured at each study phase.
During night time, in the sleep restriction phase compared to normal sleep phase, systolic and diastolic blood pressure averaged 115/64 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) versus 105/57 mm Hg respectively.
Furthermore, the expected fall in blood pressure during the night was suppressed when the people had inadequate sleep. They also found that night time heart rate was higher with sleep restriction than in normal sleep.