Less time spent in specific sleep phase ups risk of hypertension

Posted by: admin on: November 21, 2011

A new report shows, for the first time, that older men who spend the least time asleep in the so-called slow-wave sleep (SWS) phase are more likely to develop hypertension than those who spend the most time in SWS.

A study shows for the first time that poor-quality blood-pressure reflected by reduced slow-wave sleep, puts individuals at significantly increased risk of developing high blood pressure and that this effect appears to be independent of the influence of breathing pauses during sleep.

SWS has been implicated in memory and overnight improvements in perceptual and visuomotor performance and learning, but its full importance remains to be elucidated, say the researchers. SWS has also been associated with transient metabolic, hormonal, and physiological changes that affect glucose metabolism and is associated with decreased sympathetic nervous system activity and increased vagal tone. “These, in turn, are associated with decreased heart rate and blood pressure, which may influence nocturnal BP profiles. The disappearance of a nocturnal ‘dipping’ BP pattern is known to increase the risk of hypertension and CVD

SWS may be the critical component affecting BP

People should recognize that sleep, diet, and physical activity are critical to health, including heart health and optimal blood-pressure control. Although the elderly often have poor sleep, our study shows that such a finding is not benign. Poor sleep may be a powerful predictor for adverse health outcomes. Initiatives to improve sleep may provide novel approaches for reducing hypertension burden.

Reference: http://www.theheart.org/article/1273775.do  

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