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Hypertensive teenagers lack sleep

American researchers have shown teenagers who don’t sleep enough or have poor quality sleep risk high blood pressure, according to a new report.

They found that lack of sleep was linked to higher risk of elevated blood pressure, and that “technology” in bedrooms, such as CD players, phones and computers contributed to the high blood pressure.

The teenage sleep study

Researchers studied 238 healthy 13 to 16 year olds who had not been diagnosed with sleep apnea or other severe problems. The teenagers were studied at home and in the lab for sleep patterns and blood pressure levels.

The researchers found:

  • Teenager with low sleep efficiency (trouble falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning) were 3.5 times more likely to have high blood pressure.
  • Teenagers who slept for less than 6 and a half hours were 2.5 times more likely to have high blood pressure.
  • These figures were unaffected by gender, body mass index (BMI) and socioeconomic status.
  • Teenagers who had low sleep efficiency), had an average 4 mm Hg higher systolic blood pressure compared to teenagers without these problems.

Researchers comments

Researcher Dr Redline said, “Poor sleep quality is associated with prehypertension in healthy adolescents.” Dr Redland said, the problem could be the “technological invasion of the bedroom with computers, cell phones and music”.

She added, Adolescents need nine hours of sleep. Parents should optimize sleep quality for their family with regular sleep and wake times and bedrooms should be kept quiet, dark and conducive to sleep.”


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