Reduced Sleep Duration and Resistant Hypertension

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April 1, 2010

Reduced Sleep Duration and Resistant Hypertension

A recent study found that poor quality and reduced sleep duration are two likely conditions people with resistant hypertension (RH) are enduring. Hypertension is called resistant if a person's blood pressure remains above goal despite their taking three medications to lower it.

The study, which was reported in the American Journal of Hypertension , examined the polysomnographic results of 151 patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada and found that on average, patients with resistant hypertension slept 33.8 minutes less than those with controlled hypertension and 37.2 minutes less than those with normotension. Sleep efficiency - which the researchers calculated as total sleep time expressed as a percentage of time spent in bed after lights out - was reduced by 7.9% and 10.2%, respectively.

The study's findings may give rise to future research. According to the authors , the study "underscores the possibility that short sleep time and poor sleep efficiency may contribute to the pathogenesis of RH through mechanisms yet to be identified."

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Image Credit: "Sleep" by Salvatore Dali