A recent small study from the Mayo Clinic was presented at the 64th Annual Scientific Session of the American college of Cardiology that indicated a finding that insufficient sleep is linked to an increase in blood pressure during night time hours

Insufficient sleep is already recognised as a public health issue by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. This is because insufficient sleep is linked to motor vehicle and industrial accidents and other occupational errors.

The study of the Mayo team showed that the average blood pressure readings of those who had 4 hours of sleep was 115/64 compared to those who were getting  sleep of 8-9 hours whose blood pressure was 105/57

Blood pressure normally falls when you sleep but researchers found this was not the case for those who had only 4 hours of sleep. They also noticed an increase in the night time heart rate.

The lead researcher said that for the first time they had been able to demonstrate that insufficient sleep leads to an increase in night time blood pressure and dampens the normal effect of blood pressure dipping at night.