Is it true that sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure?

Answer From Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.

Possibly. Sleep experts recommend that adults get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Getting less than six hours of sleep is known to be bad for overall health. Stress, jet lag, shift work and other sleep disturbances make it more likely to develop heart disease and risk factors for heart disease, including obesity and diabetes. A regular lack of sleep may lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) in children and adults.

The less you sleep, the higher your blood pressure may go. People who sleep six hours or less may have steeper increases in blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, not sleeping well may make your blood pressure worse.

It's thought that sleep helps the body control hormones needed to control stress and metabolism. Over time, a lack of sleep could cause swings in hormones. Hormone changes can lead to high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.

Don't try to make up for a lack of sleep with a lot of sleep. Too much sleep — although not as bad as too little sleep — can lead to high blood sugar and weight gain, which can affect heart health. Talk to your health care provider for tips on getting better sleep, especially if you have high blood pressure.

One possible, treatable cause of lack of sleep contributing to high blood pressure is obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep disorder causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep. Talk with your care provider if you feel tired even after a full night's sleep, especially if you snore. Obstructive sleep apnea may be the cause. Obstructive sleep apnea can increase the risk of high blood pressure and other heart problems.

With

Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Aug. 09, 2022 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Medication-free hypertension control
  2. After a flood, are food and medicines safe to use?
  3. Alcohol: Does it affect blood pressure?
  4. Alpha blockers
  5. Amputation and diabetes
  6. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  7. Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  8. Anxiety: A cause of high blood pressure?
  9. Arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis
  10. Artificial sweeteners: Any effect on blood sugar?
  11. AskMayoMom Pediatric Urology
  12. Beta blockers
  13. Beta blockers: Do they cause weight gain?
  14. Beta blockers: How do they affect exercise?
  15. Birth control pill FAQ
  16. Blood glucose meters
  17. Blood glucose monitors
  18. Blood pressure: Can it be higher in one arm?
  19. Blood pressure chart
  20. Blood pressure cuff: Does size matter?
  21. Blood pressure: Does it have a daily pattern?
  22. Blood pressure: Is it affected by cold weather?
  23. Blood pressure medication: Still necessary if I lose weight?
  24. Blood pressure medications: Can they raise my triglycerides?
  25. Blood pressure readings: Why higher at home?
  26. Blood pressure test
  27. Blood pressure tip: Get more potassium
  28. Blood pressure tip: Get off the couch
  29. Blood pressure tip: Know alcohol limits
  30. Blood pressure tip: Stress out no more
  31. Blood pressure tip: Watch the caffeine
  32. Blood pressure tip: Watch your weight
  33. Blood sugar levels can fluctuate for many reasons
  34. Blood sugar testing: Why, when and how
  35. Bone and joint problems associated with diabetes
  36. How kidneys work
  37. Bump on the head: When is it a serious head injury?
  38. Caffeine and hypertension
  39. Calcium channel blockers
  40. Calcium supplements: Do they interfere with blood pressure drugs?
  41. Can whole-grain foods lower blood pressure?
  42. Central-acting agents
  43. Choosing blood pressure medications
  44. Chronic daily headaches
  45. Chronic kidney disease
  46. Coarctation of the aorta
  47. COVID-19: Who's at higher risk of serious symptoms?
  48. Cushing syndrome
  49. DASH diet
  50. DASH diet
  51. DASH diet: Recommended servings
  52. DASH diet: Shopping and cooking tips
  53. Diabetes
  54. Diabetes and dental care
  55. Diabetes and depression: Coping with the two conditions
  56. Diabetes and exercise: When to monitor your blood sugar
  57. Diabetes and fasting: Can I fast during Ramadan?
  58. Diabetes and foot care
  59. Diabetes and Heat
  60. 10 ways to avoid diabetes complications
  61. Diabetes diet: Should I avoid sweet fruits?
  62. Diabetes diet: Create your healthy-eating plan
  63. Diabetes foods: Can I substitute honey for sugar?
  64. Diabetes and liver
  65. Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar
  66. Diabetes: Eating out
  67. Diabetes nutrition: Sweets
  68. Diabetes symptoms
  69. Diabetes treatment: Can cinnamon lower blood sugar?
  70. Using insulin
  71. Diuretics
  72. Diuretics: A cause of low potassium?
  73. Diuretics: Cause of gout?
  74. Dizziness
  75. Do infrared saunas have any health benefits?
  76. Do you know your blood pressure?
  77. Drug addiction (substance use disorder)
  78. High blood pressure and exercise
  79. Fibromuscular dysplasia
  80. Free blood pressure machines: Are they accurate?
  81. Home blood pressure monitoring
  82. Glomerulonephritis
  83. Glycemic index: A helpful tool for diabetes?
  84. Guillain-Barre syndrome
  85. Headaches 101: Know your type
  86. Headaches and hormones
  87. Headaches: Treatment depends on your diagnosis and symptoms
  88. Herbal supplements and heart drugs
  89. High blood pressure (hypertension)
  90. High blood pressure and cold remedies: Which are safe?
  91. High blood pressure and sex
  92. High blood pressure: Can you prevent it?
  93. High blood pressure dangers
  94. How opioid addiction occurs
  95. How to tell if a loved one is abusing opioids
  96. Hunter syndrome
  97. Hypertensive crisis: What are the symptoms?
  98. Hypothermia
  99. IgA nephropathy (Berger's disease)
  100. Insulin and weight gain
  101. Intracranial hematoma
  102. Isolated systolic hypertension: A health concern?
  103. What is kidney disease? An expert explains
  104. Kidney disease FAQs
  105. Kratom for opioid withdrawal
  106. L-arginine: Does it lower blood pressure?
  107. Late-night eating: OK if you have diabetes?
  108. Lead poisoning
  109. Low-phosphorus diet: Helpful for kidney disease?
  110. Medications and supplements that can raise your blood pressure
  111. Menopause and high blood pressure: What's the connection?
  112. Molar pregnancy
  113. MRI: Is gadolinium safe for people with kidney problems?
  114. New Test for Preeclampsia
  115. Nighttime headaches: Relief
  116. Nosebleeds
  117. Obstructive sleep apnea
  118. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  119. Pain Management
  120. Pheochromocytoma
  121. Picnic Problems: High Sodium
  122. Pituitary tumors
  123. Polycystic kidney disease
  124. Polypill: Does it treat heart disease?
  125. Porphyria
  126. Postpartum preeclampsia
  127. Preeclampsia
  128. Prescription drug abuse
  129. Primary aldosteronism
  130. Pulse pressure: An indicator of heart health?
  131. Mayo Clinic Minute: Rattlesnakes, scorpions and other desert dangers
  132. Reactive hypoglycemia: What can I do?
  133. Reading food labels
  134. Renal diet for vegetarians
  135. Resperate: Can it help reduce blood pressure?
  136. Sample DASH menus
  137. Scorpion sting
  138. Secondary hypertension
  139. Serotonin syndrome
  140. Sleep tips
  141. Vegetable recipes
  142. Blood sugar testing
  143. Snoring
  144. Snoring solution: Sleep on your side
  145. Spider bites
  146. Stress and headaches: Stop the cycle
  147. Stress and high blood pressure
  148. Symptom Checker
  149. Takayasu's arteritis
  150. Tapering off opioids: When and how
  151. Tetanus
  152. Tetanus shots: Is it risky to receive 'extra' boosters?
  153. The dawn phenomenon: What can you do?
  154. Infographic: Transplant for Polycystic Kidney Disease
  155. Vasodilators
  156. Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes?
  157. Vesicoureteral reflux
  158. Video: Heart and circulatory system
  159. How diabetes affects your blood sugar
  160. How to measure blood pressure using a manual monitor
  161. How to measure blood pressure using an automatic monitor
  162. Obstructive sleep apnea: What happens?
  163. What is blood pressure?
  164. Can having vitamin D deficiency cause high blood pressure?
  165. What are opioids and why are they dangerous?
  166. What's your high blood pressure risk?
  167. White coat hypertension
  168. Wrist blood pressure monitors: Are they accurate?
  169. Effectively managing chronic kidney disease