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Objectives: Disturbed sleep patterns might alter the autonomic tone and may lead to various cardiovascular morbidities. This study aimed to determine sleep patterns (quality, duration, efficiency and day time sleepiness) and explore their association with blood pressure (BP) and heart rate variability (HRV) in young apparently healthy young Saudi females. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the Physiology department, ------University, Saudi Arabia. Self-reported Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) questionnaires were used to collect data from 98 female participants. Participant’s blood pressure was recorded with Finometer® and HRV was measured from ECG using PowerLab®. Based on the cut-off values of sleep quality, duration, efficiency and daytime sleepiness scores, students were categorized into groups. HRV and BP were compared between the groups by t test/One-way ANOVA. Results: Poor sleep patterns (quality, duration, efficiency) were observed but no association was found in BP and HRV parameters among groups of different sleep quality, duration, and efficiency. Systolic blood pressure was significantly increased in moderate to severe day time sleepiness group (P=0.039). Dozing off as a passenger in a car doze, in afternoon and after lunch were negatively correlated with HRV parameters (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Sleep quality, duration and efficiency were not found to be statistically significant, but various doze off situations were associated with HRV parameters. Day time sleepiness may augment sympathetic response in apparently healthy female participants.
Keywords: sleep patterns, day time sleepiness, blood pressure, heart rate variability, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
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