A study found that hypertension, a stressful job, and insufficient sleep is a combination that may increase the likelihood of dying prematurely from heart disease.
If your blood pressure is elevated, it’s certainly in your best interest to do what you can to bring it down to the normal range. That will lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, as well as prevent you from having your doctor prescribe drugs that can cause dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and more. And if you’ve got stress at work (who doesn’t these days) and poor quality sleep, it’s even more necessary to reduce that high blood pressure because, according to new research, having all three together just might be deadly.
The study, which was conducted at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, found that hypertension, a stressful job, and insufficient sleep is a combination that may increase the likelihood of dying prematurely from heart disease.1Li, Jian; et al. “Combined effect of work stress and impaired sleep on coronary and cardiovascular mortality in hypertensive workers: The MONICA/KORA cohort study.” European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 27 April 2019. Accessed 8 May 2019. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2047487319839183. These results are based on an investigation that included nearly 2,000 working men and women who had been diagnosed with high blood pressure after following them for an average of almost 18 years.
Those who said that their jobs were stressful and that they generally got poor sleep seem to have a trifecta that did not bode well for their future. In fact, the numbers added up after almost two decades to show that their risk of dying from heart-related causes was triple that of their peers who had hypertension but didn’t experience sleep problems or work stress.
If this sounds familiar and these are all issues you have, now is the time to take action. Each of these problems can be potentially dangerous on their own, but since their combination may trigger an earlier occurrence of cardiovascular damage, it is smart to deal with them sooner rather than later.
Is sleep difficult for you? Getting an adequate amount of restful sleep is essential to good health, and lack of it has been linked to weight gain and a decline in kidney function. Try to pinpoint what’s keeping you awake at night. A good place to start is by looking at your caffeine consumption. Drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages after 3 pm can make it much tougher to fall asleep. And if you find you’re anxious about all the things you’ve got to accomplish the next day, write them down. Making a simple list at bedtime has been shown to promote better sleep.
Another potential reason for your sleep issues could be too much screen time close to bed. The blue light emitted by your devices can affect melatonin production, essentially telling your body that it’s not really bedtime when it is. Change up your routine to shut the television, put away your cell phone, and leave your laptop in another room in favor of a warm bath and a good book (as long as it’s not on a Kindle). And if all of these things prove impossible for you, then get yourself a pair of blue light blocking TV glasses.