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

Answer From Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.

Possibly. Sleep experts recommend that adults should get seven to eight hours of a sleep each night. Getting less than six hours of sleep is known to be bad for your overall health. Stress, jet lag, shift work and other sleep disturbances make you 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 both 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 your body control hormones needed to regulate stress and metabolism. Over time, a lack of sleep could cause swings in hormones, leading 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, to a lesser degree than short sleep, can lead to high blood sugar and weight gain, which are bad for your heart health. Talk to your doctor for tips on getting better sleep, especially if you have high blood pressure.

One possible, treatable cause of your lack of sleep contributing to high blood pressure is obstructive sleep apnea — a sleep disorder in which you repeatedly stop and start breathing during sleep. Talk with your doctor 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 your risk of high blood pressure and other heart problems.


Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.

Get the latest health information from Mayo Clinic’s experts.

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.

Jan. 06, 2021 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. Antiphospholipid syndrome
  9. Anxiety: A cause of high blood pressure?
  10. Arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis
  11. Artificial sweeteners: Any effect on blood sugar?
  12. AskMayoMom Pediatric Urology
  13. Beta blockers
  14. Beta blockers: Do they cause weight gain?
  15. Beta blockers: How do they affect exercise?
  16. Birth control pill FAQ
  17. Blood glucose meters
  18. Blood glucose monitors
  19. Blood pressure: Can it be higher in one arm?
  20. Blood pressure chart
  21. Blood pressure cuff: Does size matter?
  22. Blood pressure: Does it have a daily pattern?
  23. Blood pressure: Is it affected by cold weather?
  24. Blood pressure medication: Still necessary if I lose weight?
  25. Blood pressure medications: Can they raise my triglycerides?
  26. Blood pressure readings: Why higher at home?
  27. Blood pressure test
  28. Blood pressure tip: Get more potassium
  29. Blood pressure tip: Get off the couch
  30. Blood pressure tip: Know alcohol limits
  31. Blood pressure tip: Stress out no more
  32. Blood pressure tip: Watch the caffeine
  33. Blood pressure tip: Watch your weight
  34. Blood sugar levels can fluctuate for many reasons
  35. Blood sugar testing: Why, when and how
  36. Bone and joint problems associated with diabetes
  37. How kidneys work
  38. Build resilience to better handle diabetes
  39. Bump on the head: When is it a serious head injury?
  40. Caffeine and hypertension
  41. Calcium channel blockers
  42. Calcium supplements: Do they interfere with blood pressure drugs?
  43. Can whole-grain foods lower blood pressure?
  44. Caring for a loved one with diabetes
  45. Central-acting agents
  46. Choosing blood pressure medications
  47. Chronic daily headaches
  48. Chronic kidney disease
  49. Coarctation of the aorta
  50. COVID-19: Who's at higher risk of serious symptoms?
  51. Cushing syndrome
  52. DASH diet
  53. DASH diet
  54. DASH diet: Recommended servings
  55. DASH diet: Shopping and cooking tips
  56. Diabetes
  57. Diabetes and dental care
  58. Diabetes and depression: Coping with the two conditions
  59. Diabetes and exercise: When to monitor your blood sugar
  60. Diabetes and fasting: Can I fast during Ramadan?
  61. Diabetes and foot care
  62. Diabetes and Heat
  63. Diabetes and menopause
  64. Diabetes and summer: How to beat the heat
  65. Diabetes and travel: Planning is key
  66. 10 ways to avoid diabetes complications
  67. Diabetes diet: Should I avoid sweet fruits?
  68. Diabetes diet: Create your healthy-eating plan
  69. Diabetes foods: Can I substitute honey for sugar?
  70. Diabetes and liver
  71. Diabetes management: Does aspirin therapy prevent heart problems?
  72. Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar
  73. Diabetes: Eating out
  74. Diabetes nutrition: Sweets
  75. Diabetes symptoms
  76. Diabetes treatment: Can cinnamon lower blood sugar?
  77. Using insulin
  78. Diuretics
  79. Diuretics: A cause of low potassium?
  80. Diuretics: Cause of gout?
  81. Dizziness
  82. Do infrared saunas have any health benefits?
  83. Do you know your blood pressure?
  84. Drug addiction (substance use disorder)
  85. High blood pressure and exercise
  86. Fibromuscular dysplasia
  87. Free blood pressure machines: Are they accurate?
  88. Home blood pressure monitoring
  89. Glomerulonephritis
  90. Glycemic index: A helpful tool for diabetes?
  91. Guillain-Barre syndrome
  92. Headaches 101: Know your type
  93. Headaches and hormones
  94. Headaches: Treatment depends on your diagnosis and symptoms
  95. Is chocolate healthy?
  96. Herbal supplements and heart drugs
  97. High blood pressure (hypertension)
  98. High blood pressure and cold remedies: Which are safe?
  99. High blood pressure and sex
  100. High blood pressure: Can you prevent it?
  101. High blood pressure dangers
  102. How opioid addiction occurs
  103. How to tell if a loved one is abusing opioids
  104. Hunter syndrome
  105. Hypertensive crisis: What are the symptoms?
  106. Hypothermia
  107. IgA nephropathy (Berger's disease)
  108. Insulin and weight gain
  109. Intensive insulin therapy
  110. Intracranial hematoma
  111. Isolated systolic hypertension: A health concern?
  112. What is kidney disease? An expert explains
  113. Kidney disease FAQs
  114. Kratom for opioid withdrawal
  115. L-arginine: Does it lower blood pressure?
  116. Late-night eating: OK if you have diabetes?
  117. Preventing lead exposure
  118. Lead poisoning
  119. Low-phosphorus diet: Helpful for kidney disease?
  120. Diabetes and carbs
  121. Medications and supplements that can raise your blood pressure
  122. Menopause and high blood pressure: What's the connection?
  123. Molar pregnancy
  124. MRI: Is gadolinium safe for people with kidney problems?
  125. New Test for Preeclampsia
  126. Nighttime headaches: Relief
  127. Nosebleeds
  128. Sleep apnea, obstructive
  129. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  130. Opioids and other drugs: What to watch for
  131. Pain Management
  132. Pheochromocytoma
  133. Picnic Problems: High Sodium
  134. Pituitary tumors
  135. Polycystic kidney disease
  136. Polypill: Does it treat heart disease?
  137. Porphyria
  138. Postpartum preeclampsia
  139. Preeclampsia
  140. Prescription drug abuse
  141. Pulse pressure: An indicator of heart health?
  142. Mayo Clinic Minute: Rattlesnakes, scorpions and other desert dangers
  143. Reactive hypoglycemia: What can I do?
  144. Reading food labels
  145. Renal diet for vegetarians
  146. Resperate: Can it help reduce blood pressure?
  147. Sample DASH menus
  148. Scorpion sting
  149. Secondary hypertension
  150. Serotonin syndrome
  151. Service dogs assist with diabetes care
  152. Sleep tips
  153. Vegetable recipes
  154. Blood sugar testing
  155. Snoring
  156. Snoring solution: Sleep on your side
  157. Spider bites
  158. Stress and headaches: Stop the cycle
  159. Stress and high blood pressure
  160. Symptom Checker
  161. Takayasu's arteritis
  162. Tapering off opioids: When and how
  163. Tetanus
  164. Tetanus shots: Is it risky to receive 'extra' boosters?
  165. The dawn phenomenon: What can you do?
  166. Tips for cutting costs of blood glucose test strips
  167. Infographic: Transplant for Polycystic Kidney Disease
  168. Vasodilators
  169. Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes?
  170. Vesicoureteral reflux
  171. Video: Heart and circulatory system
  172. How diabetes affects your blood sugar
  173. How to measure blood pressure using a manual monitor
  174. How to measure blood pressure using an automatic monitor
  175. Obstructive sleep apnea: What happens?
  176. What is blood pressure?
  177. Can having vitamin D deficiency cause high blood pressure?
  178. What are opioids and why are they dangerous?
  179. What's your high blood pressure risk?
  180. White coat hypertension
  181. Wrist blood pressure monitors: Are they accurate?
  182. Effectively managing chronic kidney disease