Morning Hypertension – Why Mornings Can Be Dangerous to Your Health
Does your blood pressure read high in the morning?
The first two hours after you awaken could become your last. Why? That’s the period during which you’re most likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke. Doctors and researchers now know a major hidden factor in many morning health emergencies is “morning surge,” a condition in which your blood pressure rises dramatically during the first two hours after you wake up.
If you’re someone whose blood pressure tends to rise above normal levels first thing in the morning and drop off gradually as the day wears on, you may have a ticking time bomb inside you - morning hypertension.
Morning Hypertension: Do I Have It?
If my blood pressure is skyrocketing in the morning, won’t I just know? No. High blood pressure rarely has symptoms. So, get in the habit of taking a blood pressure reading within the first two hours after you get up. Record your results and average them over the course of a week.
Morning rates exceeding 135/85 mmHg during the first two hours after you rise may indicate that you are experiencing morning high blood pressure. The key is to know the difference between your morning and evening pressure rates. To know whether it’s higher in the morning than the evening, you need to monitor your levels at night as well.
Doctors look at the difference between your pressure readings during the last two hours before retiring and your morning levels during the first two hours after rising to assess whether you have morning hypertension. A morning blood pressure surge will typically see a rise of 20 mmHg or more from the evening readings. One study found that systolic blood pressure that was just 10 mmHg higher in morning readings than in evening readings was a strong independent predictor of strokes.
It’s important to inform your doctor right away if you detect a pattern of morning surges in your blood pressure. Often, doctors will want to monitor your blood pressure for 24 hours, using special equipment that takes regular measurements throughout the test. Managing morning symptoms focuses more on preventing strokes and heart attacks, so the treatment your doctor prescribes may differ from the rest of your blood pressure management program.
What’s Causing My High Blood Pressure in the Morning?
What could cause this surge? Researchers aren’t quite sure. It could be that your pressure is rising dramatically as you sleep and remaining high after you get up. Alternatively, your pressure may drop dramatically during the night and surge first thing in the morning. Doctors aren’t sure what causes either pattern.
Several things may be responsible: problems sleeping, high blood pressure that has not been well-regulated, or an adrenal gland tumor are some of the more common suspected culprits.
Who Is Most at Risk for Morning Blood Pressure Surges?
People who already have hypertension, especially if it’s not under control are most at risk for morning high blood pressure. Studies show that those experiencing morning hypertension tend to be older and to have been on antihypertensive medications longer than the average high blood pressure patient. Diabetics, people who abuse alcohol, and smokers are also prone to the condition.
Keep strokes, heart attacks, kidney damage, and more out of your life by staying on top of your blood pressure numbers. Regularly monitoring your morning and evening blood pressure at home every day will help you quickly identify morning hypertension, the first step in controlling this potentially dangerous condition.
Learn more about the best blood pressure monitors for measuring and detecting morning hypertension:
Tagged with: high blood pressure in the morning • morning blood pressure surge • morning high blood pressure • morning hypertension • morning hypertension causes • morning hypertension detection • risk of morning hypertension
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!