Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In the news: "Too little sleep may raise blood pressure"

Too little sleep may raise blood pressure:
Missing an hour a night over five years boosts risk 37 percent, study finds.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31186808/

Quick note: Too little sleep may raise blood pressure.

Therapy wins this one. The "cogntive behavioral," sleep-hygiene type interventions for sleep are clearly superior to sleep medications. And, without the nasty side effects.

This headline refers to a new observational study. A good discovery.

Of course, there are some big question marks. For example: it is possible that people in less stable economic circumstances, and/or people in less stable social circumstances, have poorer sleep.
There is no pill to improve your economic status. But you can get financial counseling, etc.
There is no pill to improve your social circumstances (well, unless giving them away makes you the life of the party). But a major use of talk therapy - difficult to detect because there is no "DSM diagnosis" -- is to address and improve social relationships.
Also, many people have noted that when they are exercising regularly, they have better sleep.
So, a very promising area for health improvement, hinted by this headline, is psychotherapeutic interventions for sleep, or related problems to protect blood pressure.

No comments: