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LOSS OF SLEEP MAY BE A FACTOR IN STROKES AND HEART ATTACKS

SHARE LOSS OF SLEEP MAY BE A FACTOR IN STROKES AND HEART ATTACKS

Sleep deprivation can lead to a rise in early morning blood pressure and may be partially to blame for the increased number of strokes and heart attacks that occur in the morning. This according to researchers who published an article in the May 1996 American Journal of Hypertension.

Everyone's blood pressure goes down during sleep and gets fired up at waking time in the morning. But researchers found that when 18 healthy people got 3 1/2 hours less sleep, their pressures were up significantly more in the morning than after a good eight-hour snooze.This pressure jump after a rotten night's sleep is a pretty good sign that burning the midnight oil stresses out your system, says blood pressure researcher Jerome Markovitz at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Pressure goes up just because the body has to work overtime to keep itself awake, said Michael Bonner, professor of neurology at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio.

If you routinely get a lousy night's sleep, the experts suggest you clear your schedule and get into a good sleep routine. Retire earlier each night, if even by 15 minutes or a half an hour, until you have pushed back your bedtime by two hours or more, depending on your current sleep deficit.

Try not to nap during the day because this will just make falling asleep harder. Also, avoid caffeine, soda and alcohol.