Yep, a study links poor sleep to a greater risk of high blood pressure. But making up for fitful shut-eye with some extra ZZZs seemed to level the risk back down.
Dangers in Dreamland
In the study, researchers surveyed the sleep habits of 1,700 middle-aged adults and had each of them spend a night in a sleep lab. People who slept less than 5 total hours were twice as likely to have high blood pressure as those who slept 6 hours or more. And a self-reported history of sleep problems greatly compounded the effect. But -- and this is the good news -- any fitful sleepers who still got at least 6 hours of total sleep didn’t have the extra hypertension risk.
Solutions for Better Sleep
The combo of short sleep and poor sleep increases heart rate and bumps up production of stress hormones, which could help explain these recent study results. Not getting the shut-eye your body needs to stay healthy? Time to get serious about slumber with these easy drift-off-to-sleep strategies:
- Pull the plug. Find out what surfing the Web late at night does to your sleep rhythms.
- Let your worries out. Here’s how setting aside time to worry can help you knock off.
- Don’t forget to stretch. These limber-up activities can help you fall asleep faster.