Nocturnal hypertension is a common problem that affects a significant number of people. The real problem seems to be that not everyone really knows why this is happening and what to do about it.
Many people reported that their blood pressure is starting to rise and that their heart rate is rising at any time between 4pm and 6pm. Some people are stunned by the fact that this increase even takes place during the supposed after-work break in front of the television.
Presentations of lectures such as 115/70 at low levels, rising to 177/113 at high levels at night, have been published in hypertension forums. These changes usually resemble an increase in blood pressure from ideal to elevated pressure within a few hours.
Concerns about high blood pressure at night are justified and should be seriously considered. That’s the reason.
Blood pressure is daily in nature, i.e. it drops at night and begins to rise again before waking up in the morning. The normal procedure is to lower the blood pressure at night, which is called night diving. People whose blood pressure is not lowered at night are considered non-divers.
Compared to a 10-20% drop in blood pressure during the day and night, both systolic (higher number) and diastolic (lower number) blood pressure are within the range of what is considered normal. If the blood pressure drops by less than 10% at night, this is considered abnormal and indicates that there is no night-time drop. This is in line with the study Sleep and Hypertension published in 2010 in the journal Chest.
A study published in the Chest Journal again highlights the risk of nocturnal hypertension by arguing that a lack of nocturnal immersion is a strong predictor of cardiovascular problems. Another study from 2000, commonly referred to as the Ohasama study, found that each 5% deficiency with a night-time drop in blood pressure is associated with an approximately 20% higher risk of cardiovascular death. This means that an increase in blood pressure at night, when it should drop, should be a serious problem.
Possible causes of hypertension during the night
Surprisingly, one study indicates that loneliness is a possible cause of high blood pressure. Loneliness after work, when a person can be alone outside of daily social and work relationships and the environment, can lead to high blood pressure at night.
For example, having a home business does not guarantee that a person is not alone. A study published in Psychology and Aging in 2010 states that bad relationships can have the same effect on blood pressure as loneliness.
However, it is important to note that loneliness leads to an increase in blood pressure over a period of up to four years. Some people who complain of nocturnal hypertension report that they begin to notice a higher blood pressure at night after several years of normal nocturnal blood pressure.
In addition to possible loneliness, studies show that high blood pressure at night is an indicator of serious diseases, such as chronic kidney disease, resistant hypertension, diabetes, problems with the nervous system, cardiovascular diseases and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
A study published in 2010 in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine investigating the effect of night work on blood pressure concluded that sleep deprivation leads to abnormal blood pressure during the night.
Interestingly, the study found this anomaly in participants with a family history of hypertension. At the beginning of the night, people with a family history of hypertension, even at rest, experienced an increase in diastolic blood pressure.
Potential risk factors leading to failure
There are several risk factors that can lead to high blood pressure at night. Night work is one of them, as the above mentioned investigation has already shown. Stress and anxiety are also other factors that can cause blood pressure to drop at night. Some people have found enlightenment in meditation.
Lifestyle issues, such as smoking, also increase the risk of developing high blood pressure at night. Finally, for people taking antihypertensives, taking medication that does not cover the 24 hours of the day is also a possible cause of nocturnal hypertension.
Although many people find that their blood pressure is high at night because of a personal blood pressure measurement at home, it is important to have a 24-hour blood pressure measurement to get a professional diagnosis.
The information on this website is not intended to replace medical advice.
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