INTRODUCTION: Hypertension is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The majority of patients, however, cannot easily maintain a healthy blood pressure. Therefore, lifestyle modifications are important and may include getting enough sleep. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between sleep duration and hypertension, as defined by the Joint National Committee (JNC) 7 and JNC 8 guidelines. METHODS: We used the data from 6,365 individuals aged > or = 18 years based on national data from a representative sample of the 5th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey V-3 in 2012. The participants were divided into three categories: JNC 7, JNC 8, and newly excluded only. The duration of sleep was classified as less than 5, 6, 7, 8, or more than 9 hours. RESULTS: Compared with the appropriate sleep duration of 7 hours, with a sleep duration of less than 5 hours, the recommended pharmacological treatment of hypertension rate increased 1.908-fold (95% CI = 1.483-2.456) according to the JNC 8 guidelines and 1.864-fold (95% CI = 1.446-2.403) according to the JNC 7 guidelines. However, there was no statistical difference with the other sleep categories. DISCUSSION: The recommended hypertension treatment rate increased significantly in the less than 5 hours sleep group according to the JNC 8 guidelines. To manage hypertension effectively, it may be useful to maintain a lifestyle of sleeping more than 6 hours.