London, Dec 5 (IANS) Something as simple and routine as having an early bedtime and proper sleep could ward off high blood pressure (BP) or hypertension, says a study.
People who were showing early signs of high BP were able to bring it down to healthy levels in just six weeks if they had an extra hour in bed every night.
The study, carried out at Harvard Medical School in Boston, looked at men and women who regularly slept for only seven hours or less at night and were beginning to have borderline high BP readings.
High BP or hypertension affects one in five adults in Britain and is thought to be responsible for half of all heart attacks and strokes, the Daily Mail reports.
But despite an array of different drugs, it is estimated more than half of all patients have 'poorly controlled' blood pressure, which means they still have readings in the danger zone above 140mmHg/90mmHg, a measure of the amount of force inside arteries when the heart is forcing blood through them and the force when it relaxes.
Lack of sleep and a stressful lifestyle have long been tied to an increased BP risk. But the latest study is one of the first to prove that BP can be brought under control by simply increasing sleep duration.