The current literature investigating nocturnal blood pressure (BP) nondipping has largely focused on clinical populations, however, conditions such as hypertension, obstructive sleep apnoea and insomnia are recognized confounding factors for BP dipping. The exact mechanisms responsible for BP nondipping remain unclear, therefore, there is a need to investigate BP nondipping in healthy individuals to better understand the underlying mechanisms. This review identifies sleep characteristics that may contribute to BP nondipping in healthy individuals. It is anticipated that an understanding of the sleep characteristics that contribute to BP nondipping may inform future sleep-related behavioral interventions to ultimately reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease.
The PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases were searched for relevant, English language, peer-reviewed publications (from inception to March 2022). The search identified 550 studies. After duplicates were removed, the titles and abstracts of the remaining 306 studies were screened. Of these, 250 studies were excluded leaving 56 studies to test for eligibility. Thirty-nine studies were excluded such that 17 studies fully met the inclusion criteria for the review.
Findings from this review indicate that short sleep duration, more sleep fragmentation, less sleep depth and increased variability in sleep timing may be associated with BP nondipping in healthy individuals.
While there is no evidence-based approach for the treatment of nocturnal BP nondipping, it seems promising that addressing one’s sleep health may be an important starting point to reduce the prevalence of BP nondipping and perhaps the progression to cardiovascular disease.