High blood pressure is definitely one of the negative effects of sleep deprivation.
And high blood pressure is a contributing factor in over 7 million deaths worldwide every year.
I've closely examined several of the medical newsletters and science journals on sleep deprivation effects on blood pressure and will now give you a quick overview.
For starters, optimal blood pressure levels are less than 120 mm systolic over 80mm diastolic, which you have probably seen as 120/80. If you can get your levels to 115/76, you're golden.
What is considered high blood pressure? People with levels above 120/80 increase their risk of death from cardiovascular disease by over 30%. Those with levels of 140/90 and higher have a 50% higher chance of dying from heart disease.
What you also may not know is that during normal sleep, blood pressure falls by 10% to 20%. Heart rate also falls. This is important because it allows blood vessels to relax at night, thus reducing pressure on the heart.
But research has shown that people with high blood pressure, who are also poor sleepers, are three times less likely to have their blood pressure come down at night. This in effect means that the strain on blood vessels and the heart continues 24 hours a day, every day, with no relief.
Here's something else.
A study in the journal Hypertension (May 2006) showed that people between the ages of 32 and 59 years old who slept less than 5 hours a night had a significantly higher risk of hypertension (high blood pressure). In fact, the effects of sleep deprivation doubled the risk of high blood pressure.
Another study in the journal Sleep (August 1, 2006) showed increased levels of blood pressure for people who slept less than 7 hours per night. Hypertension risk was even higher in those who slept less than six hours per night.
By the way, a single night of poor sleep has not been shown to raise blood pressure the entire next day, as has been incorrectly reported in some medical journals and other websites. A study published in Autonomic Neuroscience (January 28, 2009) shows that this does not appear to be true.
In other words, don't fret the occasional bad night's sleep. However...
If you consistently have poor sleep and you have high blood pressure, you are putting undue pressure on your heart and blood vessels. This dramatically increases your risk for heart disease and premature death.
And if you do not have high blood pressure, but suffer sleep deprivation several nights a week, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
Chronic sleep deprivation effects on blood pressure are fact. So if you are suffering from the effects of sleep deprivation and you have high blood pressure, below is an important article you will find helpful.
The article also contains a link to a free 64-page hypertension diet guide you can get from the U.S. Government that will help you immensely. I highly recommend it. Here's the link to my article: Hypertension Diet for People With-or Without-Chronic Sleep Deprivation.
There can be side effects to high blood pressure medications. The link below takes you to a page that clearly spells out why a natural approach to controlling blood pressure is the healthiest way to go.