Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Hypertens. 2009 Aug;27(8):1655-63. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32832c6982.

Sleep-related changes in hemodynamic and autonomic regulation in human hypertension.

Author information

  • 1Hypertension Unit - Heart Institute (InCor), University of São Paulo Medical School, Av Dr Enéas Carvalho de Aguiar, 44, Zip Code 05403-904, São Paulo, Brazil.



The present study investigates the hemodynamic and autonomic regulation during sleep-awake transitions and across different sleep cycles in patients with essential hypertension.


Nineteen individuals free of sleep apnea (10 normotensive and nine hypertensive matched for age, sex, and body mass index) underwent a standard polysomnography, with simultaneous electrocardiography and beat-to-beat blood pressure monitoring (Portapres). All measurements were determined while awake (before and after sleep), as well as in the beginning and at end of the sleep cycle (first/last cycle of nonrapid and rapid eye movement stages).


Systolic blood pressure was higher in hypertensives and exhibited a similar reduction to the normotensives ones in initial nonrapid eye movement sleep. This reduction was because of different mechanisms: a significant fall in cardiac output in normotensives, whereas in hypertensives was also dependent of a decrease in peripheral vascular resistance. Hypertensive patients presented lower heart rate variation and attenuated baroreflex sensitivity during sleep but not immediately before and after sleep. Spectral analysis suggested a higher sympathetic activity in the sleep stages in hypertension. Additionally, a progressive sympathetic predominance (final rapid eye movement > initial rapid eye movement and awake period postsleep > awake period presleep) was observed in both groups.


Hypertension is associated with depressed baroreflex sensitivity and increased sympathetic activation during sleep. The greater sympathetic predominance at the end of night (preceding the morning surge of sympathetic activity) could be implicated in the occurrence of cardiovascular events.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk