Sleep deprivation may be harder on women than on men, a new study reveals.
Researchers at Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick found that women who slept five or fewer hours per night were at a increased risk for hypertension when compared to men who slept five or fewer hours.
The University of Warwick team looked at data from “The Whitehall II Cohort,” which studied volunteers from 20 London-based civil service departments. There were a total of 6,592 participants (4,199 men and 1,567 women). The Warwick team defined hypertension as blood pressure equal to or higher than 140/90 mm Hg or if the subject made regular use of antihypertensive medications.
The researchers found that the women in the study group who slept less than or equal to five hours per night were twice as likely to suffer from hypertension than women who slept for seven hours or more a night. The researchers found no difference between men sleeping less than five hours and those sleeping seven hours or more.
“Sustained sleep curtailment, ensuing excessive daytime sleepiness, and the higher cardiovascular risk are causes for concern," professor Francesco Cappuccio of the Warwick Medical School. "Emerging evidence also suggests a potential role for sleep deprivation as a predictor or risk factor for conditions like obesity and diabetes.”