Poor sleep quality and insomnia are associated with increased blood pressure and vascular inflammation in women, according to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

A large minority, about 28%, of Americans report less than six hours of sleep a night. Another 24% face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Women experience sleep disturbances largely due to fulfilling demands as caregivers and higher rates of insomnia-linked depression, the researchers noted.

The study included 323 women. In the population study sample, 50% had poor sleep quality. Also, 37% had some level of insomnia.

The researchers found that mild sleep disturbances, including quality, onset and insomnia, were nearly three times more common than severe sleep disturbances such as obstructive sleep apnea. Women who had mild sleep disturbances were also significantly more likely to have elevated blood pressure.

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