By Diane Ako
I like nine hours of sleep a night. If I get less than seven hours, particularly for multiple days in a row, I get cranky.
For people who already have high blood pressure, insomnia can have serious consequences, according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.
Researchers studied the sleeping patterns of 234 people with high blood pressure. Most participants slept six or fewer hours, and those who also reported poor sleep quality were twice as likely to have resistant hypertension as those who slept well.
Your blood pressure is considered resistant if you are taking three or more blood pressure medications but still have a blood pressure reading higher than 140/90 mmHg.
Women were more likely to report lower sleep quality than men. The researchers concluded that those with high blood pressure were more likely to have sleep problems, and poor sleep quality in high blood pressure patients was associated with resistant hypertension. More study is needed to clarify the cause.
The study was funded by the University of Pisa.