ID-10070618A new study from China shows high blood pressure may be associated with insomnia. Insomnia with increased alertness during the day, or hyperarousal, is associated with increased chronic secretion of stress hormones like cortisol, which may lead to hypertension, explains
coauthors Dr. Xiangdong Tang of Sichuan University in China and Dr. Alexandros N. Vgontzas of Penn State University College of Medicine. 300 adults, 200 of them noted to be insomniacs, spent one night in the Sleep Medicine Center of West China Hospital and took a sleepiness/alertness test the following day. At night, they slept in an environment as they normally would at home. The next day, they were given four 20-minute nap opportunities throughout the day. Researchers then measured their “sleep latency,” that is, the amount of time it took for the nappers to actually fall asleep, if they were able. They found that for chronic insomniacs, the longer it took to fall asleep when they tried to nap during the day, the more likely they were to have high blood pressure, even after accounting for age, gender, weight and height, diabetes, and use of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. Regardless of sleeping habits, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for high blood pressure for all adults over the age of 18 every year if possible to prevent further health problems later in life. What are some counseling tips you have for patients that have trouble sleeping?

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Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici]/