Protect Yourself From High Blood Pressure With Good Sleep
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or seek care at an emergency room.
Most people recognize the lifestyle problems that can raise blood pressure to unhealthy levels: smoking, being overweight or inactive, too much stress. In recent years, researchers have confirmed yet another controllable risk factor for high blood pressurea lack of good sleep.
That insight comes with both good news and bad news. The bad news is that about half of American adults dont consistently get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Even our children arent sleeping enough. This trend in poor sleep habits may partly explain why hypertension has become an increasing health burden in the U.S. over the past two decades. But the good news is this: better sleepand, in turn, a lower risk of developing hypertension and other cardiovascular problemsis achievable for most people who make it a priority.
What Can I Do To Get Better Sleep
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
- Get enough natural light, especially earlier in the day. Try going for a morning or lunchtime walk.
- Get enough physical activity during the day. Try not to exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
- Avoid artificial light, especially within a few hours of bedtime. Use a blue light filter on your computer or smartphone.
- Dont eat or drink within a few hours of bedtime avoid alcohol and foods high in fat or sugar in particular.
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
Work with your health care team to identify obstacles to good sleep, including other medical conditions.
Abnormal Blood Pressure Levels While Sleeping Increase Risk Of Heart Disease Stroke
- Nighttime blood pressure levels that are higher than daytime levels, as well as a pattern of blood pressure rising at night , were associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and heart failure.
- Even when blood pressure is well controlled during the day, patients who experienced extreme dips in their blood pressure while asleep had a significantly greater risk of stroke compared to those who had normal blood pressure while sleeping.
- Management of blood pressure while sleeping should be a key consideration for health care professionals to help optimize patient outcomes.
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DALLAS, Nov. 2, 2020 People who experience high blood pressure while sleeping are more likely to experience future cardiovascular disease especially heart failure, even when their daytime blood pressure is within normal ranges, according to new research published today in the American Heart Associations flagship journal Circulation.
Health care professionals typically use in-office and daytime blood pressure measurements to determine a patients hypertension medication needs and dosages. However, many patients may have undetected nocturnal hypertension high blood pressure while sleeping.
The analysis indicates:
This study was financially supported in part by a grant from the Foundation for the Development of the Community .
About the American Heart Association
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Learning To Cope With Stress Can Help
Stress and hypertension have often been linked, but researchers are still looking into a direct relationship between the two. Still, the best advice to hypertensive patients: Try to relax.
When you are stressed, your body sends stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream. These hormones create a temporary spike in blood pressure, causing your heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow. When the stressful situation is over, blood pressure goes back to its normal level.
Chronic stress, however, may cause your body to stay in this highly-charged state longer than natural.
While stress itself may or may not affect blood pressure, how you cope with stress does. For instance, overeating, smoking and drinking alcohol in response to stressful situations are direct causes of sustained high blood pressure. On the flip side, healthier coping mechanisms like exercising, practicing yoga and meditating can all help lower blood pressure.
Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure More May Cut Health Risks
One major study found that lowering systolic blood pressure to well below the commonly recommended level also greatly lowered the number of cardiovascular events and deaths among people at least 50 years old with high blood pressure.
When study participants achieved a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mmHg compared to the higher target of 140 mmHg recommended for most people, and 150 for people over 60 issues such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure were reduced by almost one-third, and the risk of death by almost one-fourth.
Thats important information, because more lives may be saved and more deaths may be prevented if we maintain lower blood pressure in certain patients, says Lynne Braun, NP, PhD, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Heart Center for Women.
Braun cautions, however, that your personal blood pressure target depends on a variety of things, including your current blood pressure, lifestyle, risk factors, other medications you are taking and your age. Every person has to be evaluated as an individual, she says. Realistically, we cant get everybody down to 120, and trying to do so may create unintended problems.
It can be dangerous, for instance, to keep an older person on medications that have unsafe side effects, such as diuretics , which can cause dehydration and dizziness in older adults.
And there can be other issues involved with taking multiple medications, such as cost and compliance.
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How Do I Know If I Have Morning Hypertension
Having a home blood pressure monitor at hand can be useful in determining whether you have morning hypertension. These devices are easily available at your neighbourhood pharmacy, and are reasonably priced. There are several types of monitors available, so talk to your pharmacist about the type of model that would suit you best.
It is best to check your BP, using the same arm each time, at the following times:
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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/4risks Involved In Nighttime Systolic Blood Pressure
While many people carry out their blood pressure checks during the day, high blood pressure levels while sleeping go undetected. This increases the level of organ failure risks and heart diseases associated with nocturnal hypertension. A new study published in the American Heart Associations journal, Circulation, states that people who suffer from high blood pressure during their sleep at night, have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in the future, including a high risk of stroke, coronary artery disease and heart failure.
What We Knowand Dont Knowabout High Blood Pressure And Sleep Deficiency
Researchers estimate that people who frequently get fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night are up to 32% more likely to develop hypertension than those sleeping 7 to 8 hours. The consequences of too little sleep could be even bleaker for people who already have hypertension. In a recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, people with hypertension who slept fewer than 6 hours per night were twice as likely to die from a heart attack or stroke than those getting 7 to 8 hours.
Its still unclear exactly how sleep protects the heart, or how too little sleep can cause trouble.
One problem may be that shortened sleep seems to disrupt the bodys ability to regulate or rebalance stress hormones, which can raise your blood pressure. Lack of sleep is also linked to increased inflammation, which can strain the heart. And it can interrupt the natural nighttime blood pressure dip that correlates with better blood pressure during the day. In addition, insufficient sleep appears to throw off the bodys appetite-control hormones, which can lead to overeating, obesity, and poor blood sugar control and, in turn, hypertension and other heart health risks.
Learning more about what happens in the body during sleep is an active area of research these days. But clearly, sleep has important health-protective benefits.
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Why You Should Check Your Blood Pressure In The Morning
08 November 2015
ORLANDO, Fla. People who have high blood pressure are often advised to monitor their blood pressure at home, and now, a new study suggests that blood pressure measured in the morning may be a better predictor of stroke risk than blood pressure measured in the evening.
In the study, researchers looked at data from people in Japan and found that, when measured in the morning, higher blood pressure was related to an increased risk of stroke. When measured in the evening, however, higher blood pressure was not as closely related to peoples stroke risk.
Blood pressure has a tendency to surge in the morning, and this surge is greater in Asian populations than in people in Western countries, said Dr. Satoshi Hoshide, an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at Jichi Medical University in Japan and the lead author of the study.
Because of this, the morning blood pressure measurement is important, especially in Asian populations, Hoshide told Live Science today , here at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions meeting.
The study included more than 4,300 Japanese people who had at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. For two weeks, the people in the study took their blood pressure at home, measuring it once in the morning and once in the evening. The participants were then tracked for a four-year follow-up period. During the follow-up, there were 75 strokes among the group.
What Time Of Day Is Blood Pressure Highest
Blood pressure is created from the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. It constantly changes during the day, depending on physical activity, emotional stress or even foods that you eat. Certain variations of blood pressure are normal. However, extreme swings of blood pressure may indicate health problems which often require medical treatment. Then how does blood pressure fluctuate? Then when is the blood pressure highest or lowest during the day?
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How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health
Getting good sleep isnt just important for your energy levelsits critical for your heart health, too. Learn how sleep is connected to heart health.
Sleep is not a luxury. It is critical to good health. Sleep helps your body repair itself. Getting enough good sleep also helps you function normally during the day.
Get enough sleep. Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night.1
How Much Sleep Do I Need
Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night.1 However, more than 1 in 3 American adults say they dont get the recommended amount of sleep.2 While this may be fine for a day or two, not getting enough sleep over time can lead to serious health problemsand make certain health problems worse.
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/4what Causes Nighttime Spikes In Blood Pressure
According to doctors, high blood pressures have been linked to the process of sodium excretion from our body, which usually happens during the daytime. However, in certain cases, where individuals are used to taking high salt intake and are sensitive to salt, the blood pressures need to rise not just during the day but also while they’re sleeping. However, this process can be extremely harmful to the heart, which is why nighttime blood pressures are associated with great risk factors.
High Blood Pressure During Sleep
Question: What would cause blood pressure to spike extremely high while sleeping? Should one be able to see and feel it when it does this?
Answer: My number one concern from your query is whether we are dealing with obstructive sleep apnea. This common condition, associated with obesity, can cause many problems, including high blood pressure. Normal individuals have a dip in blood pressure during the night. Other individuals have a paradoxical nocturnal rise in blood pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea typically associates with snoring and episodes of disturbed breathing during the night. In addition to a personal history and physical examination, interviewing the patients sleep partner is a first step in diagnosing the condition. A formal sleep study can clinch the diagnosis. Treatment involves weight loss and a breathing device to be worn at night. Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea can help control high blood pressure and can increase alertness during the day, in addition to other health benefits.
Most often, increases in blood pressure do not cause symptoms. This is one of the reasons that this risk factor is so pernicious. An individual can feel perfectly well, yet have high blood pressure that predisposes to cardiovascular events.
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Good Sleep Can Prevent And Manage High Blood Pressure
Most people experience a dip in blood pressure during the deepest stage of sleep , which is the body’s normal and healthy reaction to sleep. Not having that nighttime dip is a risk factor for heart disease and may increase daytime blood pressure.
Typically people spend 90 minutes to two hours in slow wave sleep per night. A recent study published in Hypertension found that men who got less slow wave sleep each night were a higher risk for hypertension than men who got more deep sleep.
While sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, and age can both affect the amount of deep sleep you get, there are steps you can take to ensure a good night’s sleep. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and being more active during the day can help improve the quality of your sleep.
What Health Conditions Are Linked To A Lack Of Sleep
Adults who sleep less than 7 hours each night are more likely to say they have had health problems, including heart attack, asthma, and depression.3 Some of these health problems raise the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. These health problems include:
- High blood pressure. During normal sleep, your blood pressure goes down. Having sleep problems means your blood pressure stays higher for a longer period of time.4 High blood pressure is one of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke. About 75 million Americans1 in 3 adultshave high blood pressure.5
- Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that causes sugar to build up in your blood, a condition that can damage your blood vessels. Some studies show that getting enough good sleep may help people improve blood sugar control.6
- Obesity. Lack of sleep can lead to unhealthy weight gain. This is especially true for children and adolescents, who need more sleep than adults. Not getting enough sleep may affect a part of the brain that controls hunger.6
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Daily Blood Pressure Pattern
Blood pressure follows a daily pattern. It is normally lower at night while you are sleeping and starts to rise a few hours before you wake up. This rise in BP continues during the day, usually peaking in the middle of the afternoon. By late afternoon or evening, your BP would begin to drop again.
Some people experience abnormality in their BP pattern. One of it is a morning surge in BP , which results in increased risk of damage to the brain, heart and kidneys. Morning hypertension could also happen in those with well-controlled BP.
Blood Pressure Is Linked To Other Medical Issues
High blood pressure can be the first indication of a serious underlying condition. When a patient comes in with high blood pressure, doctors will check their urine and kidney function do an electrocardiogram to check the size of the heart and look for lung changes.
Stress on the blood vessels makes people with hypertension more prone to heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and aneurysms. Correspondingly, chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea and high cholesterol increase the risk for developing high blood pressure.
In some women, pregnancy can contribute to high blood pressure, leading to preeclampsia. Postpartum blood pressure typically goes back to normal levels within six weeks. However, some women who have high blood pressure during more than one pregnancy may be more likely to develop high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases as they age.
Some of these medical issues can also cause spikes in high blood pressure .
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