Sleep Duration and Blood Pressure: Recent Advances and Future Directions

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2019 Apr 5;21(5):33. doi: 10.1007/s11906-019-0938-7.


Purpose of review: This review discusses the recent literature on subjectively and objectively assessed sleep duration in relation to hypertension risk and out-of-clinic blood pressure (BP) measures and highlights critical areas for future research.

Recent findings: Sleep duration, particularly short sleep, may influence BP through disturbed autonomic balance, hormonal imbalances, increased adiposity and metabolic dysfunction, and disrupted circadian rhythms. Observational studies indicate that short and long sleep are associated with hypertension risk, reduced nocturnal dipping, and elevated morning BP, but evidence is stronger for short sleep. Experimental sleep restriction increases BP, while sleep extension may lower BP in prehypertensive individuals. Women and racial/ethnic minorities are more prone to the detrimental effects of short sleep on BP. Additional studies are warranted to clarify the association of objectively assessed sleep with BP level and diurnal pattern and to determine the sex- and race-specific effects of sleep restriction and extension on BP.

Keywords: Adults; Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; Blood pressure; Hypertension; Sleep deprivation; Sleep duration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / trends
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / trends
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology*