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Extra time in bed may lower blood pressure study

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Last updated: Tuesday 4th December 2012

A new US study has found that people suffering from the early signs of high blood pressure may benefit from extra time spent in bed, with just over thirty minutes each night for six weeks being enough to achieve healthy levels. The Harvard Medical School research involved twenty-two men and women with ‘pre-hypertension’, with indications that their conditions could worsen without lifestyle changes.

High blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, is commonly associated with stressful lifestyles where sleep is neglected.

The participants in the Harvard study all previously slept for less than seven hours per night, which is less than the recommended nightly duration. The study was carried out over a six week period, and involved all participants going to bed one hour earlier than normal.

It was found that the test group achieved on average an extra thirty-five minutes sleep per night, resulting in an average drop in blood pressure of between 8 and 14mmHg.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of Sleep Research.

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