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Is Blood Pressure High In The Morning

Understanding Your Blood Pressure Reading

Why is my BLOOD PRESSURE Higher in the Morning? seCrets of the hUMan bODy

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury and is given as 2 figures:

  • systolic pressure the pressure when your heart pushes blood out
  • diastolic pressure the pressure when your heart rests between beats

For example, if your blood pressure is “140 over 90”, or 140/90mmHg, it means you have a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.

As a general guide:

  • high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re over the age of 80
  • ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg, while the target for over-80s is below 150/90mmHg

Blood pressure readings between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.

Page last reviewed: 23 October 2019 Next review due: 23 October 2022

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

Having a raised blood pressure reading in 1 test does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure.

Blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day. Feeling anxious or stressed when you visit your GP can also raise your blood pressure.

If you have a high reading, you may be asked to take some readings with a 24-hour monitor that checks your blood pressure throughout the day.

This will confirm whether you have consistently high blood pressure.

It’s known as 24-hour or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

What Are Headaches Due To High Blood Pressure

Headaches caused due to elevated blood pressure levels can lead to damage in the brain . These headaches are a result of constriction in the cerebral blood vessels and their quick relaxation.

This constriction and relaxation can damage the blood vessels as well as cerebral oedema. The increase in intracranial pressure ultimately leads to headaches.

A high blood pressure headache differs from other headaches that you may have experienced. It can also lead to several life-threatening conditions.

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The Early Morning Hypertension Surge

Morning hypertension is a condition characterized by high blood pressure in the morning and controlled levels throughout the day. Heart attacks and stroke usually occur in the morning because of morning hypertension. Treatment for morning hypertension differs from treatments for other types of high blood pressure.

Morning hypertension is a condition characterized by high blood pressure in the morning and controlled levels throughout the rest of the day. Blood pressure is at its lowest during sleeping hours. Between 4:00AM and noon, the body releases certain hormones that boost energy and increase morning alertness, but this also results in a sharp increase in blood pressure.

According to a study published by Americas National Institutes of Health, if ones blood pressure is average throughout most of the day but there is a 20 mmHg difference in blood pressure between the morning and evening, morning hypertension is present. People most at risk of developing morning hypertension are those who already have hypertension, diabetes, smokers and heavy drinkers.

The risks for morning hypertension are the same as any other variation of high blood pressure. It could result in stroke, heart attack, and kidney damage. Heart attacks and stroke are most likely to occur in the morning partly because of the risk posed by morning hypertension.

If High Blood Pressure Drug Side Effects Bother You

Why Is Blood Pressure Elevated In The Morning

Partner with your doctor. Ask if there are any steps you can take to lessen medication side effects. For example, to lessen the effects of low blood pressure, it may help to avoid standing for a long time in the sun. In some cases, side effects such as fatigue or diarrhea may subside with time. In other cases, your doctor may change the dosage or prescribe another high blood pressure medication. A combination of medications sometimes works better than one medication alone by not only improving high blood pressure control but also by reducing side effects.

Also, when you first start a new high blood pressure medicine, be aware of rare allergic reactions. Call 911 right away if you develop hives, wheezing, vomiting, light-headedness, or swelling in your throat or face.

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When Is The Best Time To Measure Blood Pressure

If you are concerned about or have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should measure your blood pressure at several different times of day to identify patterns. If your blood pressure tends to be higher in the morning, you should talk to your doctor, because this is abnormal.

Abnormal blood pressure patterns can indicate certain causes of hypertension or other cardiovascular risk factors.

Abnormal blood pressure patterns can be detected by taking blood pressure readings at different times of the day, including:

  • First thing in the morning

Keep in mind that exercise, caffeine, and stress can lead to short-term increases in blood pressure. When you take a reading, try to be as calm and still as possible, with your arms and legs uncrossed. Avoid checking your blood pressure immediately after exercise or if you have just experienced a very stressful event.

Why Does Blood Pressure Fluctuate

Blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day for several reasons, but its helpful to know what to expect and when your fluctuating blood pressure might be abnormal.

Circadian rhythms

Your blood pressure is strongly influenced by your bodys circadian rhythms, including your natural sleep cycle. Your circadian rhythm is connected to the master clock in your brain which regulates your body function throughout the day.

As the sun goes down and it gets dark, your master clock tells you its time to go to bed and get some rest. In contrast, when the sun is up, your master clock makes sure you have enough energy to stay alert and go about your day. Your heart rate and blood pressure will adjust according to this pattern,¹ so its normal for your blood pressure to dip while you sleep and rise throughout the day.

Physical activity

Being active and exercising regularly helps reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure in the long term. For people with diagnosed hypertension, exercise has been found to cause a blood pressure dip called postc-exercise hypotension .

You might notice your blood pressure reading change slightly during or after exercise. This is normal, but a significant change could suggest you have hypertensive response to exercise .² In HRE, blood pressure in normal, healthy people elevates significantly with exercise . HRE is thought to be an early warning sign for developing hypertension.

Nervousness and stress

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Why Is My Blood Pressure High In The Morning

High blood pressure is a condition that causes the force of the blood in your body to press against the walls of your blood vessels at too high of a rate. When you get your blood pressure read, it can be deemed as high if the top number reads anything over 129 mm Hg and the lower number reads anything over 79 mm Hg.

The Food and Drug Administration estimates that one in three American adults live with high blood pressure. High blood pressure has been deemed the worlds leading preventable cause of death.

Morning time can be dangerous for people living with high blood pressure. Studies have shown that blood pressure can increase the most in the morning time, which can lead to a higher likelihood of cardiac events.

Follow along to learn about the causes, who is at risk, treatment options, and more.

Prevention Of Hypertensive Headache

Is High Blood Pressure on the Rise? | This Morning

The first and foremost steps to prevent high blood pressure-related headaches is to constantly monitor the changes in BP and lead an active lifestyle.

It is not possible to prevent a hypertensive situation but taking medications on time, avoiding illicit drugs like amphetamines and cocaine, and eating a healthy diet can help in the process.

For anyone with an elevated blood pressure level, it is necessary to limit alcohol consumption, manage stress, and get enough sleep to avoid facing any complications.

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Monitoring Your Blood Pressure At Home

To monitor your blood pressure at home using a blood pressure cuff, the American Heart Association has these tips:

  • Rest for at least five minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Make sure your bladder is empty and donât smoke, drink caffeinated drinks, or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring.
  • Sit upright with your back straight, feet flat on the floor, and make sure your legs arenât crossed.Your arm should be supported on a flat surface, like a table, with your upper arm at heart level.
  • Place the cuff directly on your skin and make sure it is sitting right above the bend of your elbow. Follow the instructions of your blood pressure cuff to make sure youâre doing it properly.
  • Measure your blood pressure at the same time every day. Blood pressure follows a daily pattern, so measuring at the same time every day will give you an accurate reading.
  • Take multiple readings and record the results. When you measure, take two or three readings one minute apart and write down your results.
  • A diagnosis of high blood pressure should be confirmed by your doctor or healthcare provider. If you have concerns, you may want to bring your readings to an appointment to be evaluated.

    Is Blood Pressure Usually Higher In The Morning

    Your blood pressure and many other body systems have a daily rhythm. Blood pressure drops to its lowest levels while you are asleep. A few hours before it is time to wake up, it starts to rise.

    However, morning is not the time of day when blood pressure should be highest.Normal blood pressure rhythms peak in the middle of the day, dropping again in the late afternoon and evening.

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    Start Your Day With Exercise

    Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to control high blood pressure naturally. Studies advise that early morning is the best time to exercise. You can try cardio exercises like running, brisk walking, swimming or cycling. Exercise will also help you maintain a healthy weight which also plays an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure numbers.

    Does Blood Pressure Meds Work Better At Night Or In The Morning

    Morning blood pressure chart

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    How Do I Know If I Have Morning Hypertension

    Hypertension is often called the “silent killer.” There are usually no noticeable symptoms until it causes a serious medical emergency. Unless you always have routine check-ups with your doctor in the morning, cases of morning hypertension can easily be missed.

    The best way to know if you have morning hypertension is through regular blood pressure checks with your doctor in the morning. This will help them document your baseline levels and identify any increases in your blood pressure over time.

    Your doctor will put a blood pressure cuff on your arm and inflate it with air to check your blood pressure. It can be performed manually with a stethoscope or by machine. It only takes a few minutes to get the reading, and while having your arm constricted by the cuff may be briefly uncomfortable, it shouldn’t hurt.

    Your doctor may also recommend wearing an ambulatory 24-hour blood pressure monitor for a few days. This type of monitor will give the most accurate readings and how they fluctuate throughout the day, instead of relying on a single measurement in your doctors office. There is evidence that this type of monitoring, along with taking blood pressure medication at night when the pressures are typically lower, can help reduce the risk of a major cardiovascular event.¹²

    Your doctor may also order tests to check your heart’s activity or request an ultrasound of the heart to rule out any underlying cause for your high blood pressure.

    Morning Vs Evening Bps And Risk

    So far, only the Ohasama study18 has looked at the separate prediction of risk of the morning vs the evening BP. The original reports were based on readings taken in the morning a later analysis that included evening readings found that both measures predicted strokes equally well in the general population, but morning readings were superior in patients taking antihypertensive medications.25 The Ohasama study, which also included ambulatory BP monitoring, has reported that the average BP during the first 2 hours after waking is an independent predictor of risk.26 These findings emphasize the importance of taking BP readings first thing in the morning.

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    Bp Differences Over The Course Of The Day

    The diurnal rhythm of BP has been recognized for many years, and most studies have shown that the morning pressure tends to be higher than the pressure measured in the evening. The changes over 24 hours appear to be rather closely related to the cycle of wakefulness and activity. When these are maintained at a constant level, as in an experiment in which subjects were kept on bed rest for 24 hours with constant lighting and hourly feeding, there is no detectable diurnal BP rhythm. On the other hand, a dip in the heart rate still occurs during the nighttime, indicating that the heart rate rhythm is more closely controlled by the biologic clock.3 The diurnal BP rhythm is closely paralleled by the incidence of most types of cardiovascular events, which peak during the hours between 6 AM and noon.4, 5

    In the general population, the differences between morning and evening BPs are usually small, but a number of factors appear to accentuate these differences. The Japanese studies have reported that the differences may be more pronounced in patients with hypertension and in men rather than women.6 Patients who drink alcohol regularly are also more likely to have a relative elevation of the morning BP,15 possibly because alcohol raises the morning pressure and lowers the evening pressure.16 One report found that in men with sleep apnea, a relationship existed between the severity of the sleep apnea and the difference between the morning and evening pressure.17

    Morning Hypertension Or Morning Surge

    Morning Rounds: New Blood Pressure Guidelines

    An important distinction is between the morning surge, which has received quite a lot of attention, and morning hypertension, which is a newer concept. This distinction is of both theoretical and practical interest. On the theoretical side, uncertainty exists as to the extent to which the phasic components of BP as opposed to the level of BP are responsible for triggering cardiovascular events. On the practical side, measurement of the morning surge can only be done with ambulatory 24hour monitoring, whereas morning hypertension can be assessed just with home monitoring. Patients may have morning hypertension as a result of an exaggerated morning surge, but they may also be nondippers, as shown in the Ohasama study.18

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    Why You Should Take Your Own Blood Pressure At Home Or On The Go

    Because of regular fluctuations in blood pressure, white-coat syndrome, and masked hypertension, doctors may recommend self-monitoring for people with HBP. There are many benefits to taking your own BP:

    • Knowing your actual, average blood pressure outside of regular fluctuations
    • Gaining more control over your blood pressure
    • Tracking your progress

    What Should I Do If My Blood Pressure Is 160 Over 100

    Your doctor If your blood pressure is higher than 160/100 mmHg, then three visits are enough. If your blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mmHg, then five visits are needed before a diagnosis can be made. If either your systolic or diastolic blood pressure stays high, then the diagnosis of hypertension can be made.

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    How Do I Improve My Sleep Quality

    To improve sleep quality, try these things: lengthen your bedtime routine, avoid large meals or heavy snacks before bed, reduce light and sound disturbances, and use inhalers, CPAP, or other breathing aides if needed.

    Getting a good night’s sleep is helpful in maintaining blood pressure. Though “restful” is different for everyone, being consistent about your sleep patterns helps. Aim for a similar sleep schedule to help with blood pressure maintenance.

    How Should You Measure Your Blood Pressure

    Hypertension: When Blood Pressure Goes Up

    When taking your blood pressure, its essential to refrain from any activities that could increase your blood pressure 30 minutes before you plan to take it. These activities may include smoking, exercise, or drinking caffeine. It would also be helpful to use the bathroom and sit still and be silent five minutes beforehand.

    Make sure youre sitting down with your back straight. Ideally, it would be best to sit against a hard surface like a dining room chair to help maintain your posture. Do not cross your arms and legs they should be supported by a flat surface.

    Place your upper arm at the same level as your heart with the end of the cuff above the bend of your elbow. Follow the instructions that came with your blood pressure machine. It may be best to take a reading more than once a minute apart to get an accurate number.

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