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Am J Hypertens. 2013 Jul;26(7):903-11. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpt044. Epub 2013 Apr 4.

Sleep duration and risk for hypertension in women: results from the nurses' health study.

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Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.



Acute sleep restriction has been shown to increase blood pressure and sympathetic nervous system activity.


We investigated the relationships between sleep duration and hypertension among women whose sleep durations were self-reported in 1986 (n = 82,130) and 2000 (n = 71,658) in the Nurses' Health Study I (NHS-I) and in 2001 (n = 84,674) in the Nurses' Health Study II (NHS-II).


After controlling for multiple risk factors in logistic regression models, the prevalence of hypertension was significantly higher among women in all 3 groups who slept ≤5 hours (odds ratio = 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.14-1.25) per night compared with 7 hours. In prospective analyses using Cox regression shorter sleep duration of ≤5 hours per night was significantly associated with a higher incidence of hypertension only in younger women (hazard ratio [HR] =1.20, 95% CI = 1.09-1.31 for those aged <50 years; HR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.00-1.23 for those aged 50-59 years). In both prevalent and incident analyses, results were consistent with obesity acting as a partial mediator. Results were not consistent with diabetes or hypercholesterolemia acting as mediators or with shift work, snoring, menopause, or postmenopausal hormone therapy acting as effect modifiers.


Sufficient sleep could represent a lifestyle practice worthy of investigation as an approach to reduce hypertension incidence and prevalence.


blood pressure; circadian rhythm; epidemiology; hypertension; obesity; sleep

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