Sarah Regan

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor

By Sarah Regan

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor’s in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.

A woman laying in bed covering her face.

Image by jamie grill atlas / Stocksy

October 2, 2023

You’re bound to run into a host of issues if you’re struggling to sleep, from low energy, to low mood, and even digestive issues. And according to new research published in the journal Hypertension women who struggle with sleep may also be at a greater risk for hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Studying the connection between sleep and blood pressure

For this study, researchers wanted to understand whether there was a connection between sleep and hypertension.

To do so, they looked at over 66,000 women between the ages of 25 and 42 for over 16 years. The data collected included insights into participants’ age, race, BMI, diet, exercise, family history of hypertension, and more. None of the participants had hypertension when the study began.

Throughout the study, the researchers recorded participants’ amount of sleep, as well as any sleeping difficulties like having trouble falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, etc.

And by the end of the study, it would appear that there is a link between sleep and hypertension. Namely, the women who had more sleeping difficulties not only had less physical activity, poorer diets, and higher BMIs, but they were also more likely to have hypertension.

Out of all the participants, there were just under 26,000 cases of hypertension throughout the study, and the women who were consistently getting less than seven to eight hours of sleep per night were much more likely to be one of those cases. Sleeping difficulties were also linked with a higher likelihood of hypertension.

What to do about it

It’s important to call out that this study is an example of correlation, not causation, with the study authors noting that further research is necessary to understand this link.

However, as study co-author Shahab Haghayegh, Ph.D. explains in a news release, “These findings suggest that individuals who struggle with symptoms of insomnia may be at risk of hypertension and could benefit from preemptive screening,” adding, “The sooner we can identify individuals with high blood pressure and treat them for it, the better we can mitigate future health issues.”

And to that end, one of the best things you can do for your overall sleep hygiene is to maintain a consistent sleep/wake schedule—that is, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

And of course, to make sure you’re getting the most out your nightly snooze, you might want to consider trying a quality sleep supplement with ingredients that are research-backed to help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, such as magnesium and PharmaGABA®. (Here are our favorites to help you choose!)

The takeaway

Hypertension isn’t something to mess around with, and neither is not getting enough sleep. According to this research, the two could very well go hand-in-hand, so whether you want to lower your blood pressure or you want to get more sleep, be sure to prioritize catching your nightly zzz’s.