Should I Take My Blood Pressure Medication At Night
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or seek care at an emergency room.
Doctors often suggest taking daily medication in the morning, as part of your start-the-day routine. A recent study, however, suggests that taking your blood pressure medicines at night may offer important cardiovascular protective benefits. Dr. Allen J. Taylor, chairman of cardiology at MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute, gives us his thoughts on the study and what patients should know.
This large study, recently published in the European Heart Journal, certainly caught my attention. The eye-opener: study patients who took their prescribed blood pressure medicines at bedtime had a dramatically lower risk for serious cardiovascular conditions and death than people taking their medicines in the morning. Besides better controlling their blood pressure overall, patients who dosed at night experienced:
- 56% lower risk of death due to heart or blood vessel conditions
- 49% lower risk of stroke
- 34% lower risk of heart attack
- 40% lower risk of needing surgery to open or widen a vessel supplying blood to the heart
These impressive results seem almost too good to be true and, like all studies, the benefits should be validated and confirmed with more studies. Still, its large size and long duration give this current study considerable credibility.
What Is The Cause
When we first wake up, blood pressure rises because of the normal circadian rhythm of the body. This is a twenty-four hour cycle which affects our patterns of sleeping and waking. The body releases hormones in the morning, such as noradrenaline and adrenaline. These are what gives you a boost of energy, and they can also raise your blood pressure. The increase of your blood pressure in the morning can usually be seen between six and noon. If it goes too high, this can create effects that are harmful.
What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as it circulates throughout the body. This pressure is highest when the heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When the heart is at rest between beats, blood pressure falls. This is known as the diastolic pressure.
Blood pressure is always given in the form of two numbers with one written over the other like a fraction. The systolic pressure is the upper number and the diastolic pressure is the lower number. Both these measurements are important. For example, a persons BP reading may be 120/80 mmHg. Millimeters of mercury is the unit used to measure pressure. For this reading, you would read the blood pressure as 120 over 80.
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Who Is At Risk For Morning Hypertension
Populations at higher risk of developing complications related to high blood pressure include the following: 7
- South American.
Certain medical conditions placed people at risk for experiencing high blood pressure in the morning. These conditions included the following:
- Glucose abnormality.
- Metabolic syndrome .
- Insomnia or poor sleep quality.
- Nocturnal Hypoxia .
High blood pressure in the morning was also found to be more prevalent based on certain environmental factors.
- High salt intake.
- Winter time or cold outside temp.
- High levels of physical activity upon waking.
- High-stress levels.
- Increased alcohol consumption.
How Can I Prevent Orthostatic Hypotension
If youre prone to orthostatic hypotension, these steps can reduce symptoms:
- Keep your temperature moderate: Dont take very hot baths or showers.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, limit alcohol and avoid heavy, high-carbohydrate meals.
- Dont sleep flat: Elevate your head at night by using more pillows or tilting the mattress.
- Prepare before standing: Give yourself more time to move into a standing position after sitting or lying down. Have something sturdy nearby to hold onto when you stand up.
- Move your muscles: March your feet if you must stand for prolonged periods. Do isometric exercises to raise blood pressure before standing.
- Support blood pressure: Wear compression stockings or an abdominal binder to improve blood circulation and pressure.
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Morning Hypertension: Why Is My Blood Pressure Higher In The Morning
Your blood pressure is the measurement of force placed on the walls of your arteries as blood moves through your system. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means that your heart works harder to pump blood throughout your body, which can put additional strain on the heart.
High blood pressure can also make your arteries lose their elasticity, causing them to harden and thicken, which can lead to serious medical issues like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
A blood pressure cuff is used to measure your blood pressure. First, it determines your systolic blood pressure, which measures pressure on the arteries when the heart contracts.
The second is diastolic blood pressure, a reading of the pressure when your heart relaxes in between beats.
Monitoring these two numbers can help your doctor determine the health of your circulatory system, and it may also help them reduce your risk of more severe health conditions.
Your blood pressure readings will change over time. Not only can they go up and down based on your diet and lifestyle, but they even fluctuate throughout the day. The natural body rhythms follow a pattern of higher readings in the daytime and then lower pressures at nighttime when activity is low.
Read on to learn more about what this diagnosis means, how it may affect you, and what treatment options are available.
Have you considered clinical trials for High blood pressure?
News About Recall Of Blood Pressure Meds
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How High Blood Pressure In The Morning Is Diagnosed
There are a few common ways a doctor will make a diagnosis. The first one is by checking your blood pressure. Your doctor will also examine any home blood pressure measurements you have taken and recorded. If you dont have a home monitor, or want to update the one you have to a better quality, check out this affordable one I recommend in my blog post by clicking here, Upper Arm Monitor. The manufacturer is used by most hospitals and medical centers and they make a great home monitor.
Next, your doctor may recommend 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring . ABPM involves being outfitted with a device that takes continuous blood pressure readings all day and evening 21. It can be set to measure your BP every 30 minutes or whatever the doctor prefers. ABPM will indicate your exact pressure during the morning hours.
In addition to a physical exam, the following tests may be performed:
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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Enlarged Heart And Cardiovascular Health
Question: I am 23 years old and in pretty good health. I have three children, and towards the end of each pregnancy, I have developed high blood pressure. Last week I went to a family doctor for a physical, and my blood pressure was 118/100. The doctor performed an electrocardiogram , and the results were abnormal she said that the left side of my heart is enlarged. She referred me to a cardiologist, and I have an appointment next week. I am very concerned. Does this mean that I will die young? Can I live a long life with an enlarged heart? I would appreciate your advice.
Answer: I agree with your doctor that aggressive management of your blood pressure is warranted. Your history of high blood pressure associated with pregnancy is not uncommon, and can be a harbinger of sustained hypertension such as what you seem to have developed. Although your top number, or systolic pressure, is not alarming, the bottom number, or diastolic pressure, is distinctly abnormal at 100 mm Hg. The criteria for assessing the enlargement of the left-sided heart in people your age are not definitive, and can depend on ethnicity and degree of physical training. Often, a trained observer can detect enlargement of the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart, on physical examination.
Coronavirus Blood Pressure Medication
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How To Take A Senior’s Blood Pressure Measurements
People can have HBP for years without knowing it. Along with checking other vital signs, taking a BP measurement with a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope or an electronic sensor is common practice at the beginning of most medical appointments.
If a patients readings are high, most doctors will recheck their blood pressure several times on different days before making a treatment determination. A diagnosis is given if repeated readings are elevated.
Measurements should be taken when a patient is relaxed and sitting upright with both feet flat on the floor. Caregivers can use these tips to help ensure their loved ones receive accurate readings:
- Do not let the senior drink coffee or smoke cigarettes 30 minutes before BP measurements are taken.
- Remind them to wear short sleeves.
- Encourage the senior to use the restroom beforehand.
- Allow them to sit and rest for 5 minutes before the test.
If you must check your loved ones blood pressure at home, it is important that you work with their doctor to choose an approved device and learn how to use it properly. BP monitors can be bought at durable medical equipment stores and pharmacies, but they typically are not covered by Medicare.
Early To Rise Your Blood Pressure May Be Too
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Blood pressure varies throughout the day depending on foods eaten, physical activity, and emotional stress. Unfortunately, for some people, their blood pressure may be too high in the morning. This is called morning high blood pressure or morninghypertension. Researchers have found that morning hypertension increases the risk of heart and blood vessel problems such as stroke. Even in patients with well-controlled blood pressure, 50% still have high morning blood pressure.
What Is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is created when blood is pumped by the heart into our blood vessels. A normal home blood pressure reading should be less than 135/85 mm Hg. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure created when the heart is contracted. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure created when the heart is relaxed. Blood pressure can be increased when our heart beats faster and harder or if our blood vessels tighten, making a narrower opening for the blood to flow through.
What Causes Morning Blood Pressure?
What Can Happen If I Have MorningHypertension?
Patients with hypertension who specifically have morning hypertension have a higher risk of stroke, compared with other hypertensive patients without morning hypertension .
Who Is at Risk for Morning Hypertension?
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
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Periods Pregnancy And Menopause
Fluctuating hormone levels related to menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can trigger the feelings of a racing heart.
During the menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall. This has been linked to episodes of a faster-than-normal heart rate called supraventricular tachycardia.
Heart palpitations during pregnancy are caused by the increased amount of blood in the body, which can cause your heart to beat 25 percent faster than usual.
In perimenopause and menopause, the decrease in estrogen production is associated with an increase in heart rate. This can cause frequent palpitations and nonthreatening arrhythmias.
Hot flashes can also trigger palpitations in menopause and cause your heart rate to increase by 8 to 16 beats.
Here are some other symptoms that can accompany waking up with a racing heart and what they could mean.
Tobacco And Caffeine Use
Tobacco and caffeine use play a role in increased blood pressure levels. Tobacco use is one of the major risk factors for high blood pressure, because the nicotine in tobacco products causes the blood vessels to constrict. This forces the heart to work harder to pump blood, increasing blood pressure. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends stopping tobacco use to greatly reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure. Caffeine can also cause temporary spikes in blood pressure, which means that a morning cup of coffee can cause an increase in morning blood pressure levels. The risk seems to be greater in people who already have hypertension and those who do not drink caffeine regularly. Reducing caffeine intake can prevent temporary increases in morning blood pressure readings.
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What Are The Causes Of High Blood Pressure In The Morning
Anyone can develop high blood pressure and, for some people, there may not be a clear cause. It may develop over time and could be due to an increased genetic risk. For others, high blood pressure may result from an underlying medical condition. That might include:
If your doctor does discover that you have high blood pressure, they’ll try to determine if there is an underlying medical condition causing it. If there is not, which is often the case, they will talk to you about the options for managing your blood pressure to lower your risk of complications.
Types Of Morning Hypertension
BP Tip: You can lower BP naturally by changing how you breathe. Theres a device approved by the FDA and The American Heart Association. It guides your breathing a few minutes a day which has been proven to lower BP. You can check it out in the manufacturers website by.
Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Fda Bans Blood Pressure Medication
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