High blood pressure is multifactorial: among the factors that influence it are overconsumption of salt, overweight, smoking, age and stress. But did you know that sleep is also a factor? Many studies show how sleep that is too short, of poor quality1 or disrupted by conditions such as sleep apnea2 will contribute to hypertension.
Here are some pointers to help you understand why it is important to get a good night’s sleep, but also how.
It is important to be aware that your blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day depending on the level of effort you make, but also on the emotions or stress you feel. It also varies at night: sleep is a crucial phase as it puts your body to rest. This is very important for all your vital functions and in particular for your cardiovascular system: during the night, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease by 10 to 20% compared to the daytime.3 Therefore, poor-quality sleep adversely affects your cardiovascular health.
Epidemiological data shows that our sleeping time is getting shorter and shorter, falling below 7 hours. But optimally, an adult aged 18 to 64 will need 7 to 9 hours of sleep while a child aged 3 to 5 will need 10 to 13 hours.4 In addition, the quality of sleep can be affected by difficulty falling asleep or by waking up at night, which can reduce the beneficial effects of a good night’s sleep.
Modern lifestyles, personal rhythms and worries, staggered schedules… Numerous factors can come into play. However, there are a few simple rules to help you get a good night’s sleep:
1. Tochikubo et al., Effects of insufficient sleep on blood pressure monitored by a new multibiomedical recorder, Hypertension, volume 27 issue 6, p. 1318-1324, 1996
2. Phillips et al., Effects of obstructive sleep apnea on endothelin-1 and blood pressure, Journal of Hypertension, volume 17, p 61-66, 2019
3. Burnier M. What are the clinical implications of nocturnal blood pressure ? Rev Med Suisse 2007;3: 2022-6.
4. Hirshkowitz M, The National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary, sleep Health, 2015