Study: Poor sleep increases chances of high blood pressure

U.S. Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) has his blood pressure checked by Jane L. Hudak, RN, of the Center for Prostate Disease Research during a Capitol Hill press conference kicking off National Men's Health Week. Screenings for Congressional members and staff personnel will be conducted throughout the week in Washington, DC for among others, diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure and prostate cancer. (PRNewsFoto/Men's Health Network)

August 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
New research suggests if you sleep poorly, your chances of developing high blood pressure may increase significantly.

Doctors at Harvard Medical School looked at men around age 75. They found that those who got the least amount of deep sleep, were 80-percent more likely to develop high blood pressure. The researchers expect similar results in women.

Experts say the study suggests that if your blood pressure doesn't drop enough while you're sleeping, it may damage your blood vessels, or cause parts of the brain that regulate blood pressure to work less effectively.