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For kids and teens, less sleep may mean higher blood pressure

Photo: Adrian Calinescu / 500px/gettyimages

Late bedtimes and inadequate sleep may increase a young person’s risk of developing high blood pressure, results of a recent study show.

Researchers measured the blood pressure of more than 500 participants, who ranged in age from 4 to 22 years old, every 20 minutes while awake and every 30 minutes while asleep. The average sleep time was 9.1 hours.

Longer sleep duration was associated with better daytime blood pressure, while every extra hour of sleep reduced the odds of high blood pressure. In addition, staying up late was shown to lead to worse daytime blood pressure.

These associations were consistent regardless of sex, age, body mass index and weekday status.

The researchers say that although only 4% of children and adolescents in the United States are estimated to have high blood pressure, the study findings show “a robust link between getting good sleep and better blood pressure.”

The study was published online in the journal Pediatrics.

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