People who SLEEP six hours or less may have more pronounced increases in blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, not getting enough sleep can make it worse. Sleep is believed to help the body control hormones needed to regulate stress and metabolism. Kario says sympathetic nervous activation, autonomic nervous dysfunction, sleep apnoea and poor sleep quality can also contribute to increased nocturnal blood pressure.
For others, the best sleep posture for high blood pressure may be one that allows for more than seven hours of restful sleep each night. Health professionals often use blood pressure measurements in the office and during the day to determine a patient's hypertension medication needs and dosages. Sleep is the body's natural way of processing (and eliminating) stress hormones, which are known to raise blood pressure. But if you have been diagnosed with hypertension and OSA, or if you have high blood pressure and experience sleep deprivation, you can take steps to address these underlying issues to perhaps help you better control your blood pressure.
Between heredity, poor diet and lack of sleep, more people are suffering from high blood pressure than ever before. You'll find very conflicting expert opinions on how (or if) your sleeping position contributes to hypertension. Although the precise relationship between sleep and hypertension remains unclear, research shows that lack of sleep or interrupted sleep can cause hypertension or make it worse. When hypertension and sleep apnoea are linked, the flow of oxygen through the body is greatly reduced.
However, many patients may have undetected nocturnal hypertension during sleep. According to research by Yasuharu Tabara and colleagues at Ehime University School of Medicine in Japan, sleeping on the stomach may be the key to lowering blood pressure during sleep. This dangerous condition is difficult to detect, as routine blood pressure checks are almost always performed during the day. He added that follow-up studies are needed on interventions to maintain normal night-time blood pressure levels.
If you are not getting adequate sleep to revitalise your body, you could be stressing yourself without realising it until it is too late. However, if you have both OSA and hypertension, you should follow the treatment plan to improve your sleep apnoea, as this can have a positive effect on your blood pressure.