Poor Teen Sleep Habits May Raise Blood Pressure

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Teenagers who don’t sleep well or long enough may have a higher risk of elevated blood pressure that could lead to cardiovascular disease later in life, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The study of 238 (123 boys and 115 girls) 13- to 16-year-olds is the first to examine insufficient sleep and blood pressure in healthy adolescents. Researchers measured participants’ wrist movements at home for five to seven days and participants completed a daily sleep log to provide estimates of sleep patterns. Researchers also measured sleep quality in a sleep laboratory and took nine blood pressure readings in a two-day period.

  • The odds of elevated blood pressure increased 3.5 times for those with low sleep efficiency and 2.5 times for those with sleeping periods of less than 6.5 hours, even after adjusting for gender, body mass index and socioeconomic status.

  • Adolescents with low sleep efficiency — those who have trouble falling to sleep at night or who wake up too early — had an average 4 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) higher systolic blood pressure compared to children with higher sleep efficiency.
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