Sleep helps lower blood pressure

New York: Older people who have less than five hours sleep increase their risk of high blood pressure, according too new research from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

The new study, published in the journal of Hypertension, began by investigating 5,000 people with normal blood pressure. Over the next decade researchers noted their sleeping patterns and blood pressure. They fuond that 24 per cent of those aged between 32 and 59 who had five hours or less sleep each night developed high blood pressure. It was concluded that they faced double the risk of getting the condition compared to those who have the recommended eight hours because the heart has to work harder.

Only 12 per cent of those who had seven or eight hours of sleep each night had the condition.

Lead researcher James E Gangwisch said that sleep allowed the heart to slow down and therefore blood pressure to drop and that there was a clear messsage about getting a good night’s sleep.