Want more tips and tricks for reaching your health goals? Join Lark!

Take our 2-minute survey to find out if you’re eligible to join Lark which includes a smart scale and the chance to earn a Fitbit®.
Start now
*Terms and conditions apply
Close icon
< Back to Resource Center
< Back to Member Blog

10 Immediate Effects of Getting Enough Sleep When You Have Hypertension

April 17, 2020
10 Immediate Effects of Getting Enough Sleep When You Have Hypertension - Lark Health

Are you at risk of prediabetes?

Lark can help lower your risk for Type 2 Diabetes through healthy habit formation, and data tracking.
Height: 5 ft 4 in
4' 0"
7' 0"
Weight: 160 lbs
90 lbs
500 lbs
Risk Level
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Do you get enough high-quality sleep, or are you chronically sleep-deprived? Sleep is so important for controlling blood pressure that Lark for Hypertension includes sleep coaching along with its other areas of focus for lower blood pressure.

Getting enough sleep improves long-term health, but better shut-eye comes with instant gratification, too. These are 10 reasons to get enough sleep starting tonight.

1.Feel more energetic.

Being tired can make you feel, well, tired. On the other hand, when you are well-rested, you may naturally move around more during the day. You may even feel like getting in more of your planned workouts. That can lead to higher calorie burn and more weight loss. In addition, physical activity lowers blood pressure.

2. Be happier.

There are many definitions of "happiness," but they are not likely to include overwhelming feelings of anger, sadness, or frustration. Sleep more, and you may be less likely to have depression, and more likely to regulate angry feelings appropriately. Bedtime routines, such as meditating or stretching, can also help improve mood.

3. Eat healthier.

Which would you choose if you were offered either strawberries with cottage cheese, or a bowl of ice cream? The answer might depend on how tired or rested you are. Study after study shows that people who are lacking sleep are more tempted by high-calorie, low-nutrition foods, such as pizza, burgers, and fried foods. While the cottage cheese with berries might seem like an obvious choice when you are wide awake, the less-healthy alternative might be irresistible when you are exhausted. In this example, skipping the cottage cheese and berries in favor of ice cream would lead to lower intake of protein, fiber, and vitamin C, and higher intake of sugar. Speaking of exhaustion, having healthy options at the ready can make it easier to choose them when you are too tired to prepare food.

4. Have fewer cravings.

Not only can sleep deprivation lead to "unintended" choices when faced with two options, but it can lead to actual cravings. When operating while short on sleep, you may find yourself craving sugary and starchy foods more than you otherwise might. Fat and salt cravings can also creep in. Having strong cravings, along with less energy to fight them, can encourage you to seek such foods. Chips, cookies, French fries, pizza, and bagels are all examples. These types of food are typically high in calories and low in nutrients, leading to weight gain. They are also often high in sodium, which is not the best idea if you have high blood pressure. Together with getting more sleep, it is important to know that eating refined sugar and starches tends to increase cravings for refined sugar and starches, so limiting them in the first place can also help ward off cravings.

5. Have less anxiety.

Operating while short on sleep can increase anxiety and nervousness. Along with improving sleep, strategies for reducing anxiety include exercising regularly and practicing deep breathing exercises. That can be extra helpful if having hypertension adds to your stress levels.

6. Drive more safely.

"Drowsy driving" is dangerous and even fatal, causing over 70,000 crashes annually and about 800 deaths. It is not only a question of falling asleep at the wheel. Being tired at the wheel is a lot like driving under the influence because it increases reaction time and impairs decision-making ability. To lower the risk of fatigue-related incidents, recognize the signs and pull over if you find yourself yawning or blinking a lot, forgetting where you are or which turn or exit to take, or straying from your lane.

7. Prevent accidents and injuries.

What do the accident at Three Mile Island, the Chernobyl disaster, the Challenger explosion, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill have in common? They are all disasters that happened when one or more people with at least partial responsibility were badly sleep deprived, such as being on duty for nearly 24 hours or catching only a few hours of sleep the night before. These disasters may not ever be totally blamed on sleep deprivation, and a small error at your own job may not lead to an infamous catastrophe, but getting a little more sleep, if you are short, cannot hurt. It may prevent, at a minimum, minor but annoying incidents, such as getting paper cuts, stepping off a curb wrong and twisting an ankle, and dropping boxes on toes.

8. Improve focus.

Sleep deprivation reduces your attention span, and that is not good when you are supposed to be absorbing the highlights of a presentation at work or figuring out your family's busy schedule for the coming week. Getting more sleep may help prevent confusion and silly mistakes such as scheduling yourself to be in two places at once.

9. Handle things better.

Life rarely goes as planned, but it is much easier to deal with the curveballs when you are fully functioning. For example, let's say that a restaurant is out of the salmon you had planned to order. When sleep-deprived, it may seem like a serious set-back to a healthy diet, and you might just order the next item on the menu, say, a plate of pasta. When fully rested, in contrast, you might, without missing a beat, ask for skinless chicken breast - another lean protein - instead.

10. Be less hungry.

Sleep suppresses your body's production and release of a hunger hormone called ghrelin. Not surprisingly, lack of sleep leads to increased levels of ghrelin and, along with that, of hunger. A single night of short sleep can make you feel extra hungry the next day, which can lead to extra eating and extra weight gain. Along with sleeping enough, getting adequate fiber and protein without many sugary foods can further reduce hunger.

These reasons to get adequate sleep can inspire efforts to get better sleep, and the results can come quickly. Do you need help getting started? Along with supporting other healthy lifestyle behaviors to control blood pressure, Lark for Hypertension can help you get better sleep with features such as sleep tracking and tips on smarter sleep habits. 

About Lark

Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.

Read more

Get healthier with Lark & earn a Fitbit®

Lose weight, get more active, and eat better.
take 1-minute survey

Similar posts

Green beans with feta cheese and pine nutsGreen beans with feta cheese and pine nuts

Healthy Late-Night Snacks for Weight Loss

People say eating at night can lead to weight gain, but what if you’re hungry? Here are some tips to keep evening snacks healthy so you can go to bed without being hungry.

Learn more
Getting the Most from Your Lark for High Blood Pressure - Lark HealthGetting the Most from Your Lark for High Blood Pressure - Lark Health

Getting the Most from Your Lark for High Blood Pressure

How can you get the most from Lark for Hypertension? Follow our guide and control your high blood pressure to live a healthier lifestyle.

Learn more