Skip to content

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Bad Night's Sleep May Raise Blood Pressure in Kids

Study from China followed normal-weight teens, and found a slight increase in pressure

continued...

"Being healthy is not only getting regular exercise and eating right, but also trying to get the appropriate amount of sleep," said Dr. Rubin Cooper, chief of pediatric cardiology at Cohen Children's Medical Center, in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

To encourage better sleep, "start a bedtime routine that helps your children wind down before bed and limit texting or social media at night," Cooper said. "Keep a similar schedule on weekdays and weekends." Other sleep hygiene tips include avoiding caffeine before bedtime.

These measures may be even more important among kids who are overweight and obese. "If you have kids who are staying up late and getting up early on top of obesity and sleep apnea, it is the perfect storm," Cooper said. But exactly how big of a difference better sleep would make in this scenario is unknown, he noted.

Although the study found an association between kids getting less sleep and a slight increase in blood pressure, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

The bottom line is that "sleep isn't optional for adolescents," said Dr. Metee Comkornruecha, an adolescent medicine specialist at Miami Children's Hospital.

1|2

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow