If you have high blood pressure, especially if you have been newly diagnosed with it, you might think the cause is snoring, menopause, hormone therapy, or working a night shift. But a new study says none of these cause high blood pressure as long as you do one thing every day.
What is that one thing? Simply get enough sleep. But how much is enough, and who is at special risk? This study gives some solid answers to these questions.
The researchers looked at the sleep habits of over 230,000 nurses. They were looking to see if not getting enough sleep would be likely to raise blood pressure. The magic number was five hours. The women who on average slept less than five hours every night were 19% more likely to get high blood pressure than those who got seven hours. Keep in mind that what the researchers were measuring was not time in bed, but time asleep. There is a difference. But that is not the only interesting thing they discovered.
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Not surprisingly, the women who were also obese were at greater risk. But what may surprise you was what had absolutely no relationship at all to the risk of getting high blood pressure as long as the minimum five hours was attained. Neither shift work, snoring, menopause, nor hormone therapy increased the likelihood of having high blood pressure. The authors concluded, "Sufficient sleep could represent a lifestyle practice worthy of investigation as an approach to reduce hypertension incidence and prevalence."
So ladies, even if you're working graveyard shifts, snore, and are going through menopause, as long as you keep your weight under control and get a solid five hours of sleep per night, you should be alright. Also, if you aren't getting enough sleep because it takes so long to fall asleep, try taking three capsules of Advanced Sleep Formula about 30 minutes before bed. It's formulated to help you fall asleep faster.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Gangwisch JE, Feskanich D, et al. Sleep duration and risk for hypertension in women: results from the nurses' health study. Am J Hypertens. 2013 Jul;26(7):903-11.
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