Sleep patterns associated with high blood pressure

It has been reported that as many as one in three adults living in the UK suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension which is a major predictor of stroke, heart disease and other coronary illnesses.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has reported that short sleep cycles significantly increases blood pressure and subsequently increases the risk of suffering from heart problems particularly a stroke.

The research recorded the blood pressure of 578 adults aged between 33 and 45. The participants sleep patterns examined. The study concluded that each lost hour of sleep increased the chances of being diagnosed with hypertension by a staggering 37 percent.

Although sleep is a individual it is recommended that each night 7 and a half hours of sleep is needed, each sleep cycle is believed to last approximately 90 minutes so optimum waking up time should be decided in 90 minute intervals so for example if a person goes to bed at 11pm it is better to wake up at 6.30 am than 7.00 or 7.30 as the whole cycle would have been completed.

Sleep deprivation is not the only risk factor for high blood pressure, high stress levels, too much alcohol and salt in the diet and not enough unprocessed fresh fruit and vegetables have also been found to be significant predictors.

There are a number of life style changes and stress management techniques that could be adopted that can significantly reduce blood pressure and potentially the need to take hypertension medication. One such intervention could be Mindfulness meditation, gentle daily exercise such as Chi-kung and Tai Chi, additionally acupuncture threats the patient rather than just the symptoms and has been found to have profound results at lowering blood pressure and improving overall well being .

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