Know What Happens To Your Blood Pressure During Sleep?

Throughout the day when a person is active, their blood pressure usually remains normal unless they are suffering from hypertension or hypotension

Blood pressure reflects the state of the vessels in the person. Atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis leads to an increase in stiffness of the vessel wall leading to an increase in the pressure. However, fluctuations in blood pressure are harmful to your health, and can be a sign of some serious health conditions too. 

But do you know your blood pressure may change at night? 

Throughout the day when a person is active, their blood pressure usually remains normal unless they are suffering from hypertension or hypotension. But reports show, blood pressure usually remains low at night as your body remains at rest at night and if it is not then you should be careful about it.

What the Cardiologist has to say on this

Blood Pressure At Night

“Our blood pressure is influenced by our nervous system. There is not a static number to this as it depends on how the external and internal world interacts with our nervous system. Our nervous system is divided two parts: the sympathetic nervous system, and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic system tends to increase the blood pressure, while the parasympathetic nervous system decreases the blood pressure. If the sympathetic nervous system is overactive then it can lead to high blood pressure”, says Dr. Madhukar Shahi, Cardiologist at Medanta Hospital Gurgaon

“Blood pressure can fluctuate at night depending on the phase of sleep or on obstructive sleep. We have different phases of sleep like Rapid-eye movement sleep, where the body is almost dead, and therefore the blood pressure is high. In this phase the sympathetic drive is more in people and they are in deep sleep having dreams or are frigid, and all these are the part of REM, when you have this, the pressure can fluctuate,” he said.

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What is the effect?

Dr. Shahi said, “In case if you have target organ damage, normally your blood pressure is less in the night, then it is higher in the morning and gradually increases during the day and then again falls down. In such cases, the blood pressure doesn’t dip at night and these are the people who are at higher risk.”

Moreover, meditation or relaxation helps a lot to get it down. Non-dipping, rising or extreme dipping is associated with an elevated cardiovascular risk. Often, autonomic instability with fluctuations in blood pressure and the respiratory rate has been reported during sleep.

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People with uncontrolled hypertension must get 24 hours ambulatory blood pressure measurement done so that the medicines can be modified to keep a good steady 24 hours of pressure control. 

Dr. Shahi said blood pressure is a lifestyle disorder that can only be brought under control by the medication. Some lifestyle modifications may also help. These measures are:

  • Regular exercising
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • You must stop smoking
  • Efforts to reduce stress
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Moderating your ambitions 

To fight this condition effectively it is important to know the cause of high blood pressure. Some of the common causes include hormonal imbalance, adrenal tumors, thyroid disorders, sleep apnea, certain medications, alcohol use, smoking/tobacco chewing, unhealthy diet, and sedentary lifestyle.

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