Further research is needed before a link between poor quality sleep and high blood pressure is established, it has been argued.
Commenting on a study suggesting such an association is evident in older men, British Heart Foundation senior cardiac nurse Natasha Stewart said women and other age groups would need to be included before conclusions are drawn.
"However, we do know more generally that sleep is essential for staying healthy. It's important we all try to make sleep a priority," she added, recommending between six and eight hours a night.
The research, published in Hypertension - the journal of the American Heart Association - assessed the amount of time spent in slow wave sleep, one of the deepest stages.
And those with the lowest levels were shown to have an 80 per cent increased risk of developing high blood pressure.
The participants had an average age of 75 and the result was observed after allowing for the effects of obesity.
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Heart treatment news : 31 August 2011