Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, has conducted a research which concluded that sleep depravation could be the cause of high blood pressure in healthy adolescents. These associations couldn’t be explained by being overweight, socioeconomic status, sleep apnea, or known co morbidities. About 238 teenagers ages 13 to 16 were participating in this study which provided an important data about relationship between lack of sleep and high blood pressure. All of the participants of this study were without any known health issues.
This study was published in a Journal of the American Heart Organization. Young adults were observed 3 to 7 nights about the sleep duration at their homes. Special digital wrist recorder was designed in order to record a motion, sleep and wake up patterns. Special laboratory was used for one night and the blood pressure was measured nine times during that night over two days period. In the research facility, an overnight polysomnography was also made; according to Wikipedia, a polysomnography “is a multi-parametric test used in the study of sleep”, and the test outcome is termed a polysomnogram.
Those young adults who had less than 6.5 hours of sleep a night were 2.8 times to have elevated blood pressure levels, compared to those teenagers who had more hours of sleep. Those with low sleep efficiency, on the other hand, were 4.5 times more likely to have prehypertension. Sleep efficiency might be broadly defined as sleep quality. It took into account factors such as having difficulty dropping off to sleep or staying asleep.
Scientific data was adjusted for gender, body mass index and socioeconomic status. Pre hypertension risks were 2.5 times higher for lack of sleep and 3.5 times higher for low sleep efficiency. Youngster with sleep deficiency had 4mm Hg higher systolic blood pressure than those who had good night sleep.
According to the NHLBI’s Your Guide to Healthy Sleep, children of school-going age and adolescents need at least 9 hours of sleep every night. According to the guide, hormonal influences during puberty tend to affect the biological clocks of adolescents. They are thus more likely to go to bed later at night, and want to sleep in longer in the morning.
If the young ones are often having problems falling asleep, getting up several times or for long periods during the night, having sleepy spells during the day, or having difficulty concentrating, then it is possible that they are not having enough sleep, or are having poor sleep.
And, compared with twenty or even ten years ago, teenagers today have even more reasons to stay awake late into the night. Decades ago, there were no computers, no internet, and very small, if any, late night television. Add to that the stress and pressures of increased workloads in school, as well as the nutritional fiasco which is our modern diet of refined foods, and the issue gets a lot bigger.