HealthLifestyle

The Relationship Between Sleep and Blood Pressure

Just like food and water, sleep is a very important aspect of our lives. When we don’t get a full night of restful sleep, it can dramatically affect our health and impair our mental function and job performance. 

Poor sleep can be one of the causes of high blood pressure. So, if you sleep less than the stipulated 7 to 8 hours (as recommended by sleep experts), your blood pressure is bound to increase. However, if you already have high blood pressure, sleeping less than the required 7 hours may also worsen the situation. 

Sleep Problems that Affect Blood Pressure

We all know how essential a great night’s sleep is. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to get one. Sleep comes naturally, but for some, sleep seems to be difficult no matter what they try.

Whether suffering from turning and tossing to having a bad case of insomnia, many people deal with sleep problems on a nightly basis. Some of these sleep problems can cause high blood pressure or make high blood pressure more difficult to control. They include: 

  • Insomnia: Insomnia is a very common sleeping problem that occurs where a person finds himself frequently waking up during the night, or his/her sleep being light and fragmented. Having insomnia and sleeping less than the actual required hours will triple the rate at which individuals are likely to have high blood pressure.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): OSA is a situation when a person experiences halted breathing during sleep due to lack of air passing through to the lungs. This may occur for a few seconds; however, this single waking up disrupts continuous sleep.
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS): Restless leg syndrome mainly occurs through an irresistible urge to move the limbs. This eventually is followed by increasing amounts of sleep disturbances, leaving an individual feeling less refreshed once he/she is awake.

Sleeping problems can not only mess with your blood pressure but can also be disruptive to your overall health.

How to Fight High Blood Pressure with Sleep

If you have high blood pressure, the good news is that its symptoms can easily be seen and also managed with an improved sleeping habit. 

Before you sleep, there are several things that you can do within the day to improve the quality of your sleep. For instance, eating earlier in the evening and choosing a lighter diet can help your body easily digest your meal and avoid heartburn. 

You can also maintain a regular schedule, exercise frequently, and avoid taking sleeping pills.

Additionally, an hour or two before you call it a day, avoid your gadgets, especially those that emit blue light from their screens. Screen light mimics sunlight, and it tricks the brain to think it’s still daytime. Rather than devices, opt for a warm shower and a book in bed. These will give your body a feeling that it is time to sleep. 

Once you are consistent with good sleeping habits, your body will naturally meet up and adapt to the required hours you need to rest. 

Conclusion 

The importance of good sleep cannot be overemphasized. It doesn’t just ensure that we have an improved and active day, but it also helps regulate our blood pressure while keeping us healthy.

If you are guilty of sleeping less than the required time, don’t try to catch up by sleeping too much. As much as lack of sleep affects our health, too much sleep also does the same, leading to weight gain and high blood sugar. 

Thus, a recommended solution would be to talk to an expert for tips on better sleep, especially if you already have high blood pressure. 

 

Lani Sodunke

SEO & Content Manager

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