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How To Sleep With High Blood Pressure

How Sleep Apnea Affects Blood Pressure

HBP 020- How is snoring and sleep apnea linked to High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a common health issue in which the amount of force that pumps blood through blood vessels is higher than normal. People with hypertension often dont have symptoms but learn they have high blood pressure during routine checks at a doctors office. If left untreated, high blood pressure puts a daily strain on the cardiovascular system which may lead to stroke, heart disease, and other conditions. Fortunately, managing hypertension with medication and lifestyle changes can reduce your risk for harmful health effects.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes numerous lapses in breathing during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea . OSA is marked by episodes of airway collapse, which blocks airflow into the lungs and often causes snoring and gasping during sleep. In CSA, breathing lapses occur because of a lack of communication between the brain and the muscles involved in breathing.

Its important to understand the relationship between hypertension and sleep apnea because these two conditions affect one another, and treatment for sleep apnea can lower blood pressure in people who have both.

When And How To Measure Blood Pressure

Regular use of a home blood pressure monitor can help people better understand their blood pressure fluctuations. It can also allow people to identify episodes of morning hypertension.

The American Heart Association recommend using a cuff-style blood pressure monitor. These monitors are more reliable than monitors that attach to the finger or wrist.

The AHA also provide the following guidelines for measuring blood pressure at home:

Before measuring blood pressure:

  • Rest comfortably and quietly for 5 minutes before measuring blood pressure.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or exercising within 30 minutes of measuring blood pressure.

When measuring blood pressure:

Should I Talk To My Doctor About Sleep Apnea

If you have high blood pressure and are concerned about whether you might also have sleep apnea, speak with a doctor. Diagnosis is the first step to accessing effective treatments for OSA that may improve your sleep and blood pressure. Consider whether any of the following symptoms apply to you:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty with attention and memory
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Dry mouth when waking up
  • Irritability, anxiety, or depression

Sleep apnea is often not recognized by the affected individual. In many cases, a bed partner notices nighttime symptoms of OSA, which prompts a visit to the doctor. If you share a bedroom or home with someone else, ask if they have noticed you exhibiting any of these signs while you are sleeping:

  • Loud snoring
  • Choking or gasping during sleep
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep

Experiencing one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have sleep apnea, but it is a good reason to bring up sleep with your doctor.

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Other Causes For Fatigue With High Blood Pressure

Although fatigue can be a symptom of high blood pressure, a lack of sleep may actually be a contributing factor, too.

Sleeping 5 hours or less per night may raise your risk for developing high blood pressure. And if you already have high blood pressure, lack of sleep could be making it worse.

In addition, obstructive sleep apnea is a known risk factor for hypertension, especially in older age groups.

Some prescription medications used to treat high blood pressure can also cause fatigue.

Another cause of fatigue could be due to pulmonary artery hypertension. This is when you have high blood pressure in the vessels that carry blood between your heart and lungs. Along with fatigue, it can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.

There are usually no symptoms or warning signs that you have hypertension. Thats why its so important to monitor your blood pressure.

Its especially important to see your doctor if youre experiencing:

  • fatigue
  • stress management
  • drinking alcohol in moderation

Your doctor will also consider your age, coexisting conditions, and any other medications you take when treating your blood pressure. If necessary, your doctor may prescribe hypertension medications. These include:

Some of these medications can cause you to feel tired.

Other treatments depend on the extent of damage to your heart, kidneys, and overall health.

  • following a healthy, balanced, low-salt diet
  • getting regular exercise

How Hypertension Affects Your Body

Sleep danger: Restless nights can increase blood pressure ...

Its normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day, but its not normal for it to be consistently high.

Left untreated, hypertension can damage your heart and contribute to severe health issues that can lead to a disability or even premature death. Some of these include:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Disease or Failure

As mentioned earlier, about half of people experiencing hypertension have obstructive sleep apnea as well. Hypertension doesnt cause sleep apnea, but there is a connection between the two.

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What Is High Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure refers to the pressure of blood within your arteries, which carries blood around your body to vital organs. It is normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day, but when it consistently remains high, you should seek medical advice, as this can lead to serious issues such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.

When you get a blood pressure reading, you will get a top systolic blood pressure and a bottom diastolic blood pressure number. Your systolic blood pressure is the highest level your blood pressure hits as blood is pumped around your body, and is an important indication of your risk of heart attack or stroke, while your diastolic blood pressure is the lowest level it reaches between your heart beats.

A normal blood pressure should be no more than 140/90 mmHg. A systolic reading of between 140-180 mmHg and a diastolic reading of between 90-110 mmHg could indicate possible hypertension, whereas a systolic reading higher than 180 mmHg and diastolic reading higher than 110mmHg indicates severe hypertension1.

How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed

If your doctor determines that you have symptoms suggestive of sleep apnea, you may be asked to have a sleep evaluation with a sleep specialist or may order an overnight sleep study to objectively evaluate for sleep apnea.

  • Testing includes an overnight sleep study called a polysomnogram . A PSG is performed in a sleep laboratory under the direct supervision of a trained technologist. During the test, a variety of body functions, such as the electrical activity of the brain, eye movements, muscle activity, heart rate, breathing patterns, air flow, and blood oxygen levels are recorded at night during sleep. After the study is completed, the number of times breathing is impaired during sleep is tallied and the severity of the sleep apnea is graded.
  • For adults, a Home Sleep Test can sometimes be performed instead. This is a modified type of sleep study that can be done in the comfort of home. It records fewer body functions than PSG, including airflow, breathing effort, blood oxygen levels and snoring to confirm a diagnosis of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

An HST is not appropriate to be used as a screening tool for patients without symptoms. Its not used for patients with significant medical problems . Its also not used for patients who have other sleep disorders in addition to the suspected obstructive sleep apnea.

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Sleep Apnea Creates Norepinephrine Spikes In The Body

When your airway is blocked or constricted at night when youre asleep, your body must find a way to open up the airway so you can breathe. It does this by releasing norepinephrine, also sometimes referred to as adrenaline. Norepinephrine is the main awake neurotransmitter in the brain, and it arouses the brain to signal the throat to open up and let air in.

Although most people dont actually wake up, the arousal is enough to increase the muscle tone in the throat and return it to how it normally is during the day. Unfortunately, the norepinephrine release also creates a fight or flight response in your body that increases your heart rate, as well as your blood pressure.

Its release is so effective at raising blood pressure in the body, norepinephrine is used in the ICU to treat people in shock and at risk of death for low blood pressure. This is because its the most powerful agent we know of to increase blood pressure.

The more frequently you have these respiratory events at night, the more norepinephrine youre going to release, and the more your blood pressure will rise. This can make keeping blood pressure under control exceedingly difficult if you have undiagnosed sleep apnea or arent properly treated.

Sleeplessness & High Blood Pressure

HBP 043- How is High Blood Pressure linked to insomnia or poor sleep

If you are experiencing occasional sleeplessness and have high blood pressure or are taking medication to help manage high blood pressure, you may be wondering which over-the-counter nighttime sleep aid options may be right for you. TYLENOL® PM and SIMPLY SLEEP® both contain the active ingredient diphenhydramine. Read more about diphenhydramine and high blood pressure below. to buy a TYLENOL® PM product.

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How To Get A Good Nights Sleep

So what can you do? Well, one of the most important things is to establish a regular rhythm as to when you go to bed and get up. This helps your body regulate itself effectively, and get into a good sleeping pattern.

Another thing is to look at your sleeping conditions. Having your room well-aired, and not too hot or too cold, and as dark as possible, and of course quiet, all go a long way to helping you settle into deep sleep once you do fall asleep.

You can also take a look at how you spend your evening, particularly the last hour or two before bed. Avoid alcohol, nicotine , and big meals too close to bedtime as these can keep you up or lead to unsettled sleep. A cup of relaxing herbal tea can help you unwind instead. And it can be helpful to get into a nice routine before, or as, you get ready for bed, to help you gradually switch off from your concerns and get in the mood for sleep.

And last, but absolutely not least turn off your laptops, smartphones, iPads etc., well before you go to bed most scientists recommend having at least one hour before bed thats screen-free. As one scientist, Dr Lipman, puts it, have an electronic sundown. Youll probably find this makes it easier for your mind to wind down before bed as well.

And your body will certainly thank you.

For more details on sleeping well for lower blood pressure, check out our short Kindle eBook here:

How Do Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors Lower Blood Pressure

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How To Combat Hypertension With Sleep

There is good news if you are battling hypertension. Symptoms can be caught quickly with regular physicals. The treatment for high blood pressure is manageable. Simple changes to diet, exercise and sleeping habits can make a huge difference in your life.

If you have a history of high blood pressure in your family, it is a good idea to keep up with regular check ups because hypertension is hereditary. Catching it earlier will lower your risk of bigger issues down the line.

While diet and exercise are extremely important to treating hypertension, sleep is a daily activity that most neglect in their treatment plan. By changing how you sleep and what you sleep on, you can greatly impact your blood pressure.

Choose a Comfortable Mattress

If you feel groggy and in pain in the morning, it may be a sign that it is time to upgrade your mattress. Traditional innerspring mattresses typically start becoming less comfortable around the eighth year of use. If youre over that amount of time, you might be sleeping poorly and not even realizing it because youve become accustomed to how youre sleeping now.

Choose the best mattress for your sleeping style to make sure you are as comfortable as possible as you sleep. Less tossing and turning in the middle of the night means more time getting good, restful sleep. Your body will rejuvenate from the days work and stress as well as allow you to sleep longer through the night without interruption.

Practice Healthy Sleeping Habits

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea And High Blood Pressure

How Sleep Apnea Affects Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea and high blood pressure are potentially dangerous conditions on their own, but they can be a real nightmare together. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the most common health problems in the United States, with nearly 1 out of 2 American adults or more than 100 million people suffering from it.

According to the Center for Disease Control, Tennessee has a high prevalence of hypertension in adults ages 20 and older, with an age-adjusted prevalence between 32 and 38.6 percent.

Hypertension is strongly connected to conditions like heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and even erectile dysfunction. These conditions are also linked to sleep disordered breathing, also referred to as sleep apnea. Research indicates up to 50% of people suffering from hypertension also have sleep apneawhich is why anyone struggling with high blood pressure can benefit from a sleep test.

To better understand the connection between high blood pressure and obstructive sleep apnea , lets begin by taking a look at some key points about hypertension.

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As Per A New Study Using Sleeping Pills On A Regular Basis Can Impact Blood Pressure In Older Adults Here Are Some Side Effects And Health Risks Associated With Prescription Pills

New Delhi: Recent surveys have shown that about 90 per cent of Indians are sleep-deprived, increasing the risk of several chronic diseases. Perhaps, you may be one of them and if youre considering taking sleeping pills to get much-needed rest, you would want to read this first. Sleeping pills can be effective when it comes to ending your sleep problems in the short term, however, they can have serious side effects which may vary depending on the types of drug, dosage, etc. As per a new study, using sleeping pills on a regular basis can impact blood pressure in older adults.

Sleeping pills may be sedatives or hypnotics and come in different forms. People can also opt for natural, prescription, or over-the-counter pills. Here are some side effects and risk of using sleeping pills.

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Effect Of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure On Bp

If OSA contributes to hypertension development or progression, then effective OSA treatment with continuous positive airway pressure should lower BP. However, reports are conflicting. This lack of a consistent treatment effect may be related to multiple variables, including differences in study design, type and size of cohorts, degree of CPAP compliance, treatment duration, and accuracy of BP assessments.

Recently, four metaanalyses of randomized controlled trials on CPAP use have been published . Bazzano et al analyzed 16 randomized clinical trials published between 1980 and 2006, representing 818 participants, that compared participants treated with CPAP with control subjects, that had a minimum treatment duration of 2 weeks, and that reported BP changes during the intervention and control period. Mean net change in systolic BP for participants treated with CPAP vs control subjects was 2.46 mm Hg mean net change in diastolic BP, 1.83 mm Hg and mean net change in mean arterial pressure, 2.22 mm Hg . The authors concluded that their analysis provided evidence that effective CPAP treatment reduces BP.

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What Does Good Quality Sleep Look Like

While we have a good grasp on what constitutes a healthy amount of sleep, there are currently no standards for measuring sleep quality. Does good sleep mean no tossing and turning? That you dont wake up during the night? That you spend a set amount of time in different stages of sleep? In the near future, I expect well begin to develop evidence-based standards for sleep quality, along with tools like digital wearables, that help us see how our sleep quality measures up. For now, trust your personal sense of sleep quality and well-being.

If you feel your sleep quality is suffering, be sure to tell your healthcare provider. One very common and treatable cause of poor sleep quality that contributes to elevated blood pressure is sleep apnea, an extreme form of sleep disturbance in which you stop breathing, wake often, and get little deep sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, an estimated 1 in 4 people has sleep apnea today. If you feel tired after a full nights sleep, especially if you snore, sleep apnea is a likely cause. Today, you can be easily tested at home instead of at a hospital, and treatment options have expanded beyond uncomfortable face masks. We also know that treating sleep apnea helps reduce high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risks.

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