The pressure is building, but there's no suspense here. By getting less than six hours of sleep a night, you could be putting yourself at risk for high blood pressure. When you sleep, your heart gets a break and is able to slow down for a significant period of time. But cutting back on sleep means your heart has to work overtime without its allotted break. By constantly skipping out on all of your 40 winks, your body must accommodate to its new conditions and elevate your overall daily blood pressure.
And the heart isn't the only organ that is overtaxed by a lack of sleep. The less sleep you get, the less time the brain has to regulate stress hormones, and over time, sleep deprivation could permanently hinder the brain's ability to regulate these hormones, leading to elevated blood pressure. Getting the recommended amount of sleep means you're doing one of the simplest actions to keep your heart healthy.
Adapted from 500 Dreams Interpreted, © 2009 Publications International, Ltd.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health (2006, April 4). Lack Of Sleep Linked To Increased Risk Of High Blood Pressure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2006/04/060403230551.htm
A new study determined it takes a split second for our brains to replay and store certain memories when we sleep. HowStuffWorks looks at the science.