High blood pressure: Is your reading dangerously high some mornings? A surprising cause
A reading above 140/90mmHg is a sign of possible hypertension (i.e. high blood pressure). Should this reading go above 180/110mmHg, alarm bells should be ringing. What is your blood pressure after you first wake up?
The health advisors at Harvard Medical School received a query from a concerned citizen.
Their blood pressure reading floated around 160/80mmHg in the mornings, but would drop down to 120/75mmHg by 11am.
In addition, for the rest of the day, their blood pressure reading was in the normal range – what was going on?
“Overuse of alcohol can raise blood pressure,” was the reply. “If you do drink alcohol, keep it to no more than one drink per day.”
Blood pressure readings
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) listed blood pressure readings:
- Low blood pressure – below 90/60mmHg
- Normal blood pressure – between 90/60mmHg and 140/90mmHg
- Possible hypertension – between 140/90mmHg and 180/110mmHg
- Severe hypertension – Higher than 180/110mmHg
“One drink means 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of wine, or one shot of hard liquor,” the health advisors at Harvard Medical School continued.
Are you prone to having a tipple before you go to bed? This habit needs to be managed for the safety of your health.
Hypertension puts a person at increased risk of having an aortic aneurysm – an abnormal bulge in the heart blood vessel – testified MedicAlert.
High blood pressure heightens the likelihood of having a heart attack, stroke and vascular dementia.
There are other health consequences associated with the condition, such as kidney disease and heart failure.
MedicAlert details the warning physical warning signs of high blood pressure; these include:
- Blurred vision
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
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What happens if you don’t drink alcohol (at all, or for the majority of the time), but blood pressure realigns are still high in the mornings?
Harvard Medical School pitch in with a few alternatives as to why this could be.
For instance, “sleep apnea is another cause of high blood pressure early in the morning”.
Sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway narrows or breathing muscles stop moving.
This causes breathing to temporarily stop, or for the breath to become shallow.
Sleep apnea can happen hundreds of times each night, putting stress on the body.
Stress increases adrenaline level throughout the body, which is a known trigger for high blood pressure.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, poor sleep quality and excessive sleepiness during the day.
Some people suffering from sleep apnea can experience headaches first thing in the mornings.
Aside from alcohol consumption, or sleep apnea, there is one other reason why your blood pressure could be high in the mornings.
This could be due to the medication you’re currently taking for hypertension.
It is worthwhile sharing this issue with your doctor, who can direct you on the best course of action.
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