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Can High Blood Pressure Cause Insomnia

Sleep Apnea And High Cholesterol

GABA For Anxiety, Stress, Insomnia, High Blood Pressure, Mood, and More

The same study from above found that frequent snorers suffered from the HDL cholesterol decay. The study displays connection between high cholesterol and snoring, which means that sleep apnea patients who snore and gasp for air may be more prone to high LDL cholesterol and serious cardiovascular issues.

There is another study that found connection between sleep apnea and high cholesterol.

Without treatment and CPAP machine, sleep apnea patients have difficulties sleeping without waking up, leading to ultimately poorer sleep quality and high overall cholesterol.

What You May Not Know About Insomnia

Theres a lot more to insomnia than just not sleeping well. Apart from its effect on your rest, insomnia can have a huge impact on your mental health. If youre worried about either or both, insomnia symptoms to keep an eye out for can include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Waking up too early
  • Daytime sleepiness or not feeling rested after sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating or decreased focus
  • Irritability or depression

There are two types of insomnia: primary insomnia, and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia means that your sleep problems arent linked to another condition, while secondary insomnia means that an additional condition or substance is disturbing your rest.

If you experience primary insomnia, it may be somewhat easier to find treatment options since youre not treating an additional disorder.

Another way to describe cases of insomnia is by their frequency or severity.

  • Acute Insomnia or Transient Insomnia: These cases dont last very long, and can range from a single night to a few weeks of sleep issues.
  • Chronic Insomnia: If you struggle to sleep at least three nights a week for three months or more, then youre experiencing chronic insomnia.

Don’t Be Too Concerned

High blood pressure spikes can be a concern in those with heart disease, but are generally harmless in those without. Still, you never want to deal with too much high blood pressure. Hypertension can put stress on your heart and possibly damage your blood vessels. That’s why even though there isn’t necessarily any danger to experiencing these blood pressure spikes, you should still make reducing your anxiety a priority.

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Make Time For Downtime

In our society, nowadays, people arent getting enough sleep. They put sleep so far down on their priority list because there are so many other things to do family, personal stuff and work life, Dr. Walia says. These are challenges, but if people understand how important adequate sleep is, and how to sleep better, it makes a huge difference.

How Can I Get Some Zzz While On Wellbutrin

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The truth is insomnia can be an unpleasant problem when youre taking Wellbutrin or antidepressants, in general. As a result, many doctors prescribe the lowest dose possible. Studies suggest that 150mg of Wellbutrin reduces your risk of side-effects better than 300mg, Researchers also suggest that Wellbutrin XL produces fewer side-effects , than other forms of Wellbutrin. Still, some people may experience insomnia, regardless of the form of Wellbutrin.

Thankfully, if you experience insomnia after taking Wellbutrin, there are steps that you can take to get the sleep you crave.

These steps are listed below:

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How Does Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure

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Each time a person with OSA experiences airway collapse and briefly stops breathing during sleep, their sympathetic nervous system becomes activated and blood pressure rapidly spikes when they resume breathing. Sometimes, this sequence of pausing and resuming breathing can cause a person to wake from sleep. When a person wakes up after an OSA event, activation of the sympathetic nervous system and blood pressure levels escalate to an even greater degree.

Additionally, when sleep is disrupted by OSA symptoms, the body releases sympathetic nervous system hormones called catecholamines into the blood. Catecholamines are stress hormones that are majorly released by the adrenal glands. Examples of catecholamines include dopamine and epinephrine . High levels of catecholamines in the blood cause high blood pressure.

How To Sleep When Stressed

Stress management is key to a good nights sleep, and how well you manage stress can depend on your day-to-day lifestyle. In addition to following a balanced diet and exercising throughout the week, you can alleviate stress through controlled breathing and other relaxation techniques. A healthy work-life balance is also important, as is your ability to productively release stress during situations that cause stress, and not at other moments.

Proper sleep hygiene can also improve your sleep quality and duration, leaving you more refreshed in the morning and prepared to manage stress. Sleep hygiene guidelines include:

Laying in bed when you are too stressed to sleep can be counterproductive. If you havent gone to sleep within 15 minutes of going to bed, try getting up and relocating to another area of your residence for a relaxing activity such as reading, meditating, or listening to calming music avoid watching TV or other activities that involve blue light devices.

Some people also experience anxiety when they wake up in the middle of the night and see the time on their bedside clock. Avoid looking at your clock if you wake up cover the display if necessary.

If your sleep problems persist, you should see your doctor or another credentialed physician. This may lead to an insomnia diagnosis and treatment for your insomnia symptoms.

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Osa And Resistant Hypertension

OSA is common in patients with resistant hypertension, which is defined as BP that remains uncontrolled with three or more medications. In a prospective evaluation of 41 patients with resistant hypertension, Logan et al found that 96% of the men and 65% of the women had significant OSA . In 71 consecutive subjects referred to the hypertension clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for resistant hypertension, we found that 90% of the men and 77% of the women had OSA . As OSA severity increases, there is an increased need for additional BP medications that is, the more severe the OSA, the less likely BP is controlled with pharmacologic therapy.- A prospective, but uncontrolled CPAP trial demonstrated that CPAP use can have substantial antihypertensive benefit in patients with resistant hypertension. Logan et al reported that CPAP use after 2-month follow-up in 11 patients with resistant hypertension lowered nighttime systolic BP by 14.4±4.4 mm Hg and diastolic BP by 7.8±3.0 mm Hg.

How Is Insomnia Managed Or Treated

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Short-term insomnia often gets better on its own. For chronic insomnia, your healthcare provider may recommend:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia: Therapy : CBT-I is a brief, structured intervention for insomnia that helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I helps you overcome the underlying causes of your sleep problems.
  • Medications: Behavior and lifestyle changes can best help you improve your sleep over the long term. In some cases, though, taking sleeping pills for a short time can help you sleep. Doctors recommend taking sleep medicines only now and then or only for a short time. They are not the first choice for treating chronic insomnia.

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Poor Sleepers Vs Sound Sleepers

The study involved 1,741 randomly selected adults living in central Pennsylvania who agreed to spend a night in a sleep laboratory.

Based on their responses to questionnaires designed to assess sleep quality, more than half of the study participants were classified as being normal sleepers, 8% had insomnia with symptoms persisting for at least one year, and 22% were classified as being poor sleepers who had difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or had poor-quality sleep.

A little more than half of the participants slept more than six hours, which was considered normal.

The sleep assessment revealed that:

  • People who slept less than five hours a night and had insomnia had the highest risk of hypertension, with a fivefold greater risk than people who slept more than six hours a night without insomnia or poor sleep.
  • Those who slept five to six hours a night and had insomnia had a 3.5-fold increase in high blood pressure risk, compared to normal sleepers without insomnia or poor sleep.
  • The high-blood-pressure risk among people who reported having insomnia, but slept for more than six hours during their night in the sleep laboratory, was similar to people who described themselves as normal sleepers.

The findings are published in the April issue of the journal Sleep.

“We found little increase in risk among people who were unhappy with the quality of their sleep but who did not have evidence of insomnia on objective measurement,” Vgontzas says.

What Are The Risk Factors For Insomnia

Insomnia occurs more often in women than in men. Pregnancy and hormonal shifts can disturb sleep. Other hormonal changes, such as premenstrual syndrome or menopause, can also can affect sleep. Insomnia becomes more common over the age of 60. Older people may be less likely to sleep soundly because of bodily changes related to aging and because they may have medical conditions or take medications that disturb sleep.

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What Do I Do If My Medication Negatively Impacts My Sleep

Theres a lot you can do to sleep better if your medications are sabotaging your sleep. Here are a few of my recommendations.

Before giving any of these a try though, please consult your doctor first. Even if theyre affecting your sleep, its important to continue taking your medications as prescribed until you can make alternate arrangements with your doctor.

What Are The Types Of Insomnia

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Insomnia can come and go, or it may be an ongoing, longstanding issue. There is short term insomnia and chronic insomnia:

  • Short term insomnia tends to last for a few days or weeks and is often triggered by stress.
  • Chronic insomnia is when the sleep difficulties occur at least three times a week for three months or longer.

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Insomnia And Neurological Problems

Problems affecting the brain, including neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, have been found to be associated with an elevated risk of insomnia.

Neurodegenerative disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimers dementia, can throw off a persons circadian rhythm and perception of daily cues that drive the sleep-wake cycle. Nighttime confusion can further worsen sleep quality.

Neurodevelopmental disorders like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can cause hyperarousal that makes it hard for people to get the sleep they need. Sleeping problems are common for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and may persist into adulthood.

What Is The Connection Between Sleep Apnea And High Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep disorder, causes a reduction of airflow while you sleep the most tell tale sign is snoring, as well as gasping for air, waking up frequently, and chronic daytimefatigue.

A national multi sleep study of over 6,000 men and women, conducted through the John Hopkins School of Public Health found a correlation between high blood pressure and sleep apnea. While more severe sleep apnea, with over 30 lapses in breathing, presents the highest risk, this sweeping study found that even modest sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure.

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Sleep Temporarily Lowers Blood Pressure

Though not directly related to high blood pressure, there is a connection between sleep problems and heart health. When you sleep, your blood pressure dips nearly 10%. According to research, this drop in blood pressure appears to play a role in cardiovascular health. If you suffer from a sleep disorder, and your blood pressure does not dip as it should, you have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, and angina.

Getting A Good Night’s Sleep

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Sleep researcher William C. Kohler, MD, tells WebMD that he is not surprised by the findings.

He points to a growing body of research linking lack of sleep to a wide range of medical conditions, including obesity in adults and children, and related diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Kohler is medical director of the Florida Sleep Institute in Spring Hill and a spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

“There is more awareness about the importance of sleep to our overall health, but despite this, very few physicians adequately screen their patients for sleep problems,” he says. “This should be routine.”

The typical adult needs about eight hours of sleep a night, but Kohler says a few people can get by on four or five hours and others need nine or 10.

“If your body needs eight hours and you typically sleep for five or six, you will pay for it by being tired all the time and not functioning all that well,” he says.

He says insomniacs can take steps to improve their sleep, including:

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Your Blood Pressure While You Sleep

Sleep and blood pressure are connected. Based on your bodys natural rhythms, your blood pressure will rise and fall over the day. Although the stages of sleep each have a different effect on your blood pressure, its a short-term variability thats completely normal. Youll see a drop in your blood pressure while sleeping during the non-rapid eye movement, which is 80% of your total sleep. However, if you see spikes in your blood pressure while you sleep, thats an indicator that something is wrong. Doctors suggest that taking your blood pressure while sleeping is actually the best representation of cardiac health.

Not being able to fall asleep is both a symptom and an amplifier of high blood pressure if you have trouble falling asleep, that might be a symptom of having high blood pressure. But when you have trouble falling asleep, your blood pressure stays higher for longer, which leads to a number of conditions down the line like heart disease or stroke.

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What Stops You From Sleeping

With the potential risk of both high blood pressure and heart disease connected to a lack of sleep, it is perhaps worth exploring the causes of your lack of rest. One main cause that is completely treatable could be sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition which will cause you to stop and start breathing while you are asleep throughout the night. You may not realize that you are doing this. A common sign or symptom would be feeling exhausted when you wake up in the morning and potentially experiencing severe headaches.

Its worth pointing out that during episodes where you stop breathing due to sleep apnea, your brain does release stress hormones. These hormones then raise both your heart rate and your blood pressure. It is for this reason that sleep apnea has been linked to both high blood pressure and potentially heart failure. If you already have difficulty with your heart sleep apnea can make the problem worse as well. Insomnia will trigger a stress response and this will gradually weaken your heart over time.

One study found that through a period of eight years, men with sleep apnea were 58% more likely to develop congestive heart failure compared to those without this particular disorder. While one might expect this to only expect older men, studies also show that adolescents who struggle to sleep well are more at risk of developing cardiovascular issues as well. Furthermore, issues like this in childhood can snowball to become greater problems later on in life.

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What Causes High Blood Pressure At Night

While poor sleep is associated with higher blood pressure and blood pressure spikes, it goes the other way too: people with high blood pressure may be more prone to chronic anxiety, which can in turn play a role in poor sleep. Thats why Im so serious about treating not just the body but also the mind, and urge clients to get their racing thoughts under control by using a scientifically designed cooling headband like Ebb Precision Cool to relax at night.

But having high blood pressure only at night, or experiencing high blood pressure spikes at night could point to something more specific. High blood pressure at night, many experts believe, points to signs of a specific sleep disorder.

How Can I Prevent Insomnia

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Lifestyle changes and improvements to your bedtime routine and bedroom setup can often help you sleep better:

  • Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  • Be physically active during the day, outside if possible.
  • Cut back on caffeine, including coffee, sodas and chocolate, throughout the day and especially at night.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, including weekends.
  • Put away smartphones, TVs, laptops or other screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Turn your bedroom into a dark, quiet, cool sanctuary.
  • Unwind with soothing music, a good book or meditation.

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Is There A Best Sleep Position For High Blood Pressure

Youll find greatly conflicting expert opinions on how your sleeping position contributes to . If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, ask your doctor for advice on which sleeping position might be best for you. People with sleep apnea should avoid sleeping on their back, as this position promotes airway blockage and may, therefore, cause blood pressure to rise. For others, the best sleep posture for high blood pressure might be the one that allows you to get seven-plus hours of restorative sleep each night.


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