Study objectives: Limited experimental data suggest that sleep restriction acutely elevates blood pressure; however, little is known about the relationship between usual sleep duration and hypertension. This study assesses the relationship between usual sleep duration and hypertension in a community-based cohort.
Design: Cross-sectional observational study.
Setting: The Sleep Heart Health Study, a community-based prospective study of the cardiovascular consequences of sleep-disordered breathing.
Participants: Two thousand eight hundred thirteen men and 3097 women, aged 40 to 100 years.
Measurements and results: Usual weekday and weekend sleep durations were obtained by questionnaire, and their weighted average were categorized as less than 6, 6 to less than 7, 7 to less than 8, 8 to less than 9, and 9 or more hours per night. Hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or greater, a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or greater, or use of medication to treat hypertension. The relationship between sleep duration and hypertension was examined using categorical logistic regression with adjustment for age, sex, race, apnea-hypopnea index, and body mass index. Compared to subjects sleeping 7 to less than 8 hours per night, those sleeping less than 6 and between 6 and 7 hours per night had adjusted odds ratios for hypertension of 1.66 (95% confidence interval 1.35-2.04) and 1.19 (1.02-1.39), respectively, whereas those sleeping between 8 and 9 and 9 or more hours per night had adjusted odds ratios for hypertension of 1.19 (1.04-1.37) and 1.30 (1.04-1.62), respectively (p < .0001 for association of sleep duration with hypertension). These associations persisted when analyses were further adjusted for caffeine and alcohol consumption, current smoking, insomnia symptoms, depression symptoms, sleep efficiency, and prevalent diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular disease.
Conclusions: Usual sleep duration above or below the median of 7 to less than 8 hours per night is associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension, particularly at the extreme of less than 6 hours per night.