Too few sleep, bad sleep, constant accessibility, the prospects for recreation are poor. This is not only increasing our daily pressure but often the blood-pressure, too. Prof. Dr. med. Bernd Sanner is board member of the German-High-Blood-Pressure-League and Medical Director at the Agaplesion Bethesdo Clinic in Wuppertal, Germany. He explained that the risk of developing high blood pressure is increasing by 60 per cent when we sleep less than six hours each night.
Disturbed deep sleep increases risk for high blood pressure
Lack of recovery time and breaks mostly lead to an increased level of the stress hormone cortisol – and this in turn has a negative effect on our sleep. Falling asleep becomes hard, the deep sleep is disturbed. US scientists proved that lack of deep sleep is connected with an increased blood pressure: at the start of the study, no one of the 784 participants (consistently men with an average age of 75 years) suffered under high blood pressure, but after three years 243 of them did. Compared to the participants with normal blood pressure (16.9 per cent), the participants with high blood pressure spend only a quarter of the time in deep sleep (4.1 per cent).
Lack of sleep increases inflammatory activity
Dr. Sanner elaborates: “Lack of sleep increases inflammatory activity in the body; this intensifies arteriosclerosis. Various studies revealed that due to this fact, long-term lack of sleep might support cardiovascular diseases.”
Sleep disturbances disturb natural dipping
Healthy people with undisturbed sleep experience a 10 to 20 per cent drop of their blood pressure during the night, a process called “dipping”. In case your sleep is poor or too little, the dipping is disturbed. According to Dr. Sanner, this not only diminishes a drop but might also increase the blood pressure during the night.
Get sufficient sleep and avoid sleep disturbances
So, it is worth while paying attention to everything that supports healthy sleep:
- balanced work-life-balance
- regular sleep-wake-rhythm
- sleep surrounding and mattress
Sources: Deutsche Hochdruckliga e.V. | https://www.hochdruckliga.de/stellungnahme/items/stressfaktor-schlafmangel.html