Early Bed Time Could Signal Heart Problems in Men

Early bed times are associated with hypertension independent of anything else.Early bed times are associated with hypertension independent of anything else.

Men who want an early night could be showing a warning sign of heart problems, medics have warned.

A study of 2,400 adults found that among men, bed times were significantly earlier among those suffering from high blood pressure.

On average, those with the condition - one of the key risks for heart disease - retired for the night 18 minutes earlier than those without it.

And once they got to bed, those with high blood pressure were significantly more likely to spend the night tossing and turning, the Japanese study found.

Researchers said the desire to turn in early could be a clue to health problems which might otherwise be missed, reports

While early nights were linked with higher blood pressure, getting more sleep was unlikely to do anything to help the condition, they cautioned.

Despite going to bed earlier, those with high blood pressure managed no more sleep overall - and scored significantly worse in tools used to measure the quality of slumber.

On average, those with high blood pressure - also called hypertension - scored 5.3 in assessments, where a score of five or more indicted poor sleep quality.

Among those with normal blood pressure, the score was 4.7, according to the study findings, presented at the European Society of Cardiology, in Rome.

Lead researcher Dr Nobuo Sasaki, from Hiroshima University, said: “Early bed times were associated with hypertension independent of anything else.”

Researchers said those with high blood pressure might tend to prefer earlier nights because their underlying health was worse, making them more tired.

But they said it was also possible that the condition could alter the body clock, causing “abnormal circadian rhythms” which left them exhausted in the evenings, but likely to lie awake at night.

The study, of adults aged between 40 and 60, showed that the average bed time of those with high blood pressure was 11.10 pm, while for those with normal pressure it was 11.28 pm.

British experts said anyone with concerns about blood pressure should get it checked.

Both groups slept for an average of 6.2 hours - though the group with high blood pressure lay awake for longer.  

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “People often have raised blood pressure without knowing it, but it is unlikely that a tendency to go to bed early is the best way to detect this - you should check your blood pressure regularly and see your GP if you are concerned.”