Sleep Duration and Blood Pressure: Recent Advances and Future Directions

  • Nour Makarem
  • Ari Shechter
  • Mercedes R. Carnethon
  • Janet M. Mullington
  • Martica H. Hall
  • Marwah AbdallaEmail author
Sleep and Hypertension (S Justin Thomas, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Sleep and Hypertension


Purpose of Review

This review discusses the recent literature on subjectively and objectively assessed sleep duration in relation to hypertension risk and out-of-clinic blood pressure (BP) measures and highlights critical areas for future research.

Recent Findings

Sleep duration, particularly short sleep, may influence BP through disturbed autonomic balance, hormonal imbalances, increased adiposity and metabolic dysfunction, and disrupted circadian rhythms. Observational studies indicate that short and long sleep are associated with hypertension risk, reduced nocturnal dipping, and elevated morning BP, but evidence is stronger for short sleep. Experimental sleep restriction increases BP, while sleep extension may lower BP in prehypertensive individuals. Women and racial/ethnic minorities are more prone to the detrimental effects of short sleep on BP.


Additional studies are warranted to clarify the association of objectively assessed sleep with BP level and diurnal pattern and to determine the sex- and race-specific effects of sleep restriction and extension on BP.


Sleep duration Sleep deprivation Blood pressure Hypertension Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring Adults 



N.M. is supported by an American Heart Association Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network Soter Collaborative Award (grant no. 16SFRN27880000-1). M.A. is supported through 18AMFDP34380732 from the American Heart Association. M.H.H. is supported, in part, through R01 AG047139 from the National Institutes of Aging.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nour Makarem
    • 1
  • Ari Shechter
    • 2
  • Mercedes R. Carnethon
    • 3
  • Janet M. Mullington
    • 4
  • Martica H. Hall
    • 5
  • Marwah Abdalla
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of CardiologyColumbia University Irving Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular HealthColumbia University Irving Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Preventive MedicineNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyBeth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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