High blood pressure damages your heart and arteries over time, and because it may show no symptoms, it’s often referred to as a silent killer. Several factors influence blood pressure, including physical activity, stress levels, and the time of day.
Understanding how blood pressure (BP) fluctuates throughout the day can help you better understand your body and manage hypertension. Learn how different times of day affect blood pressure.
BP Rises in the Morning
Your blood pressure is generally at its lowest while you sleep. If you sleep at night and stay up during the day, your blood pressure will rise in the morning.
The gradual rise in blood pressure that occurs as you move from being asleep to awake is called the morning blood pressure surge (MBPS). This surge is caused partially by your body releasing hormones, like adrenaline, to boost energy levels. The blood pressure increase is a normal response to transitioning from a resting to an active state.
BP Peaks Then Lowers in the Afternoon
After increasing throughout the morning, blood pressure typically peaks at midday. Then, your blood pressure should drop in the afternoon.
Many factors can affect afternoon blood pressure, including meals and reduced physical activity. The midday dip in blood pressure can vary from person to person, but it’s generally a healthy response.
Your blood pressure often drops slightly as your body digests food, but caffeine and sugar can temporarily elevate BP. Additionally, salty foods increase water retention and elevate BP levels.
BP Decreases in the Evening
As the day progresses, your blood pressure should decrease and reach its lowest point during sleep. The decrease is associated with your body’s natural relaxation response.
The gradual lowering of blood pressure at night is known as nocturnal dipping. In people with healthy blood pressure, levels during sleep drop to around 10 to 20 percent compared to daytime.
Non-dipping blood pressure patterns are associated with increased cardiovascular risks. Symptoms of nocturnal hypertension can include frequent arousal from sleep, snoring, and gasping at night. However, these symptoms can indicate other health issues, so measuring blood pressure at night is necessary to diagnose nocturnal hypertension.
Understanding how different times of day affect blood pressure is essential for managing healthy BP levels. Hypertensive individuals may experience abnormal patterns, such as an exaggerated morning surge or a lack of nocturnal dipping. You can monitor BP at different times of the day for better insight into your cardiovascular health.
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