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Does Your Blood Pressure Drop When You Sleep

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Sleep Apnea Low Blood Pressurewhat Is Rest Apnea

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When you have sleep apnea, air quits streaming to your lungs for 10 seconds or longer that is, you actually stop breathing.

Noticing you have stopped breathing, a control centre in your mind causes you to wake up just sufficient to breathe.

After that you fall back to sleep as well as the cycle begins again. In some people this could occur over 30 times every hour even though you might not bear in mind getting up.

As you can visualize, frequently being caused back right into breathing, hr after hour, night after evening, can place a stress on your body.

You may really feel extremely weary day after day yet not understand that youve been awakening numerous times during the night as a result of having sleep apnea.

How To Get A Good Nights Sleep

So what can you do? Well, one of the most important things is to establish a regular rhythm as to when you go to bed and get up. This helps your body regulate itself effectively, and get into a good sleeping pattern.

Another thing is to look at your sleeping conditions. Having your room well-aired, and not too hot or too cold, and as dark as possible, and of course quiet, all go a long way to helping you settle into deep sleep once you do fall asleep.

You can also take a look at how you spend your evening, particularly the last hour or two before bed. Avoid alcohol, nicotine , and big meals too close to bedtime as these can keep you up or lead to unsettled sleep. A cup of relaxing herbal tea can help you unwind instead. And it can be helpful to get into a nice routine before, or as, you get ready for bed, to help you gradually switch off from your concerns and get in the mood for sleep.

And last, but absolutely not least turn off your laptops, smartphones, iPads etc., well before you go to bed most scientists recommend having at least one hour before bed thats screen-free. As one scientist, Dr Lipman, puts it, have an electronic sundown. Youll probably find this makes it easier for your mind to wind down before bed as well.

And your body will certainly thank you.

For more details on sleeping well for lower blood pressure, check out our short Kindle eBook here:

How Does Sleep Apnea Treatment Affect Blood Pressure

There are a number of treatment options for OSA. Treatment not only improves sleep quality but could also help manage hypertension. The most common and effective treatment is called continuous positive airway pressure .

CPAP treatment involves wearing a facemask attached to a machine that pumps air into the lungs at night. It works by preventing the airway from collapsing, which improves sleep quality in people affected by OSA. Studies investigating the effects of CPAP in patients with hypertension and OSA have shown that treatment with CPAP lowers blood pressure during the day and at night, especially in patients with severe OSA. CPAP also reduces catecholamine levels.

Some patients have a hard time adjusting to the CPAP facemask at night. Consistent, proper use of CPAP is important in order to effectively manage OSA and hypertension. Mouthpieces are one alternative to CPAP and are designed to help maintain an open airway during sleep. Research is needed to determine if mouthpieces also lower blood pressure in people who experience high blood pressure and OSA. Certain surgical procedures are also done to treat OSA in selected patients.

Losing weight either through diet and lifestyle changes or through weight-loss surgery is another approach to managing OSA that may also lower blood pressure.

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How Do I Know If I Have Morning Hypertension

Having a home blood pressure monitor at hand can be useful in determining whether you have morning hypertension. These devices are easily available at your neighbourhood pharmacy, and are reasonably priced. There are several types of monitors available, so talk to your pharmacist about the type of model that would suit you best.

It is best to check your BP, using the same arm each time, at the following times:

Sleep Boosts Mental Wellbeing

What Happens During Sleep

Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like clinical depression and generalised anxiety disorder in adults.

When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than 6 hours a night.

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Sleep Deprivation Can Cause An Increased Risk Of Diabetes

Research shows that people with no diabetes risk factors went into a pre-diabetic state after only one week of inadequate sleep. The researchers attribute the increased risk of diabetes to an overactive central nervous system. When the system is overactive, it affects the amount of insulin your pancreas produces to regulate glucose levels.

Additionally, when you dont get enough sleep, your body doesnt process glucose efficiently either. So, even if your body produces it, you cant use it properly. The longer you experience a lack of sleep, the more your risk of diabetes increases.

Effect Of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure On Bp

If OSA contributes to hypertension development or progression, then effective OSA treatment with continuous positive airway pressure should lower BP. However, reports are conflicting. This lack of a consistent treatment effect may be related to multiple variables, including differences in study design, type and size of cohorts, degree of CPAP compliance, treatment duration, and accuracy of BP assessments.

Recently, four metaanalyses of randomized controlled trials on CPAP use have been published . Bazzano et al analyzed 16 randomized clinical trials published between 1980 and 2006, representing 818 participants, that compared participants treated with CPAP with control subjects, that had a minimum treatment duration of 2 weeks, and that reported BP changes during the intervention and control period. Mean net change in systolic BP for participants treated with CPAP vs control subjects was 2.46 mm Hg mean net change in diastolic BP, 1.83 mm Hg and mean net change in mean arterial pressure, 2.22 mm Hg . The authors concluded that their analysis provided evidence that effective CPAP treatment reduces BP.

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What Sleep Conditions Can Hurt My Heart Health

Over time, sleep problems can hurt your heart health.

Sleep apnea happens when your airway gets blocked repeatedly during sleep, causing you to stop breathing for short amounts of time. Sleep apnea can be caused by certain health problems, such as obesity and heart failure.

Sleep apnea affects how much oxygen your body gets while you sleep and increases the risk for many health problems, including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. It is more common among Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans than among whites.7

Insomnia refers to trouble falling sleep, staying asleep, or both. As many as 1 in 2 adults experiences short-term insomnia at some point, and 1 in 10 may have long-lasting insomnia.8 Insomnia is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Over time, poor sleep can also lead to unhealthy habits that can hurt your heart, including higher stress levels, less motivation to be physically active, and unhealthy food choices.

For better sleep, get enough natural light, especially earlier in the day. Try going for a morning or lunchtime walk.

What Should I Do If This Happens

Better sleep to lower blood pressure

People and their partners or roommates should learn to recognize the signs of nighttime hypoglycemia. Be prepared! Ask your doctor for an emergency glucagon kit. This kit contains a fast-acting medication that can be injected if the person cant be woken up. Store the kit in a bedside drawer for easy access.


  • If the person cannot be woken: If there is no emergency glucagon kit, call 911. If the person has a glucagon kit, the partner or roommate should follow the instructions to fill the syringe and inject the medicine. Once fully awake, he/she should eat a meal and check their blood glucose every few hours using a home test kit. After giving the injection, the persons doctor should be notified.

  • If the person can be woken up and sit without support: They should be given a fast-acting glucose source. Good options include hard candy, fruit juice or glucose paste or tablets, which can be purchased at most pharmacies. Once the person is fully awake, they should eat a meal and check their blood glucose every few hours using a home test kit.

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Sleep Deprivation Lowers Your Libido

People with a lack of sleep experience lower libidos and less interest in sex. This issue stems from depleted energy and increased tension, and it is accurate for men and women.

Men with sleep apnea have another reason for a lowered libido due to sleep deprivation, though. Studies show that they also have low testosterone levels, which affects their sex drive.

What Health Conditions Are Linked To A Lack Of Sleep

Adults who sleep less than 7 hours each night are more likely to say they have had health problems, including heart attack, asthma, and depression.3 Some of these health problems raise the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. These health problems include:

  • High blood pressure. During normal sleep, your blood pressure goes down. Having sleep problems means your blood pressure stays higher for a longer period of time.4 High blood pressure is one of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke. About 75 million Americans1 in 3 adultshave high blood pressure.5
  • Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that causes sugar to build up in your blood, a condition that can damage your blood vessels. Some studies show that getting enough good sleep may help people improve blood sugar control.6
  • Obesity. Lack of sleep can lead to unhealthy weight gain. This is especially true for children and adolescents, who need more sleep than adults. Not getting enough sleep may affect a part of the brain that controls hunger.6

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How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health

Getting good sleep isnt just important for your energy levelsits critical for your heart health, too. Learn how sleep is connected to heart health.

Sleep is not a luxury. It is critical to good health. Sleep helps your body repair itself. Getting enough good sleep also helps you function normally during the day.

Get enough sleep. Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night.1

Understanding Blood Oxygen During Sleep

How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Heart

Blood oxygen levels during sleep should be at a 95 percent saturation, which is considered normal, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association .

It is normal for blood oxygen levels to decrease during sleep. All body systems have altered basal function during your sleep, including breathing. You dont breathe as deeply when you are sleeping, and not all your lung spaces function at full capacity. Because of this effect of sleep on breathing, it is normal for your sleep oxygen level to decrease below awake levels. Tests that show a waking oxygen level at or above 94 percent typically indicate a sleep oxygen level of at or above 88 percent.

However, when it persistently drops below maintenance levels, health problems can develop. In addition, certain medical conditions can lead to low oxygen while you are asleep.

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Why You Should Take Your Own Blood Pressure At Home Or On The Go

Because of regular fluctuations in blood pressure, white-coat syndrome, and masked hypertension, doctors may recommend self-monitoring for people with HBP. There are many benefits to taking your own BP:

  • Knowing your actual, average blood pressure outside of regular fluctuations
  • Gaining more control over your blood pressure
  • Tracking your progress
  • Saving time and possibly money from frequent doctor visits and complications

What Does Good Quality Sleep Look Like

While we have a good grasp on what constitutes a healthy amount of sleep, there are currently no standards for measuring sleep quality. Does good sleep mean no tossing and turning? That you dont wake up during the night? That you spend a set amount of time in different stages of sleep? In the near future, I expect well begin to develop evidence-based standards for sleep quality, along with tools like digital wearables, that help us see how our sleep quality measures up. For now, trust your personal sense of sleep quality and well-being.

If you feel your sleep quality is suffering, be sure to tell your healthcare provider. One very common and treatable cause of poor sleep quality that contributes to elevated blood pressure is sleep apnea, an extreme form of sleep disturbance in which you stop breathing, wake often, and get little deep sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, an estimated 1 in 4 people has sleep apnea today. If you feel tired after a full nights sleep, especially if you snore, sleep apnea is a likely cause. Today, you can be easily tested at home instead of at a hospital, and treatment options have expanded beyond uncomfortable face masks. We also know that treating sleep apnea helps reduce high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risks.

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What Is The Relationship Between Sleep Apnea And Blood Pressure

Of the two types of sleep apnea, only OSA is linked to high blood pressure. CSA isnt a known cause of hypertension, but it develops in 30 to 50% of people with heart failure.

The prevalence of OSA is estimated to be between 4 and 7% of the general population, but it affects 30 to 40% of people with hypertension. Of people diagnosed with OSA, it is estimated that around half also have high blood pressure.

In healthy individuals, blood pressure naturally lowers by between 10 and 20% at night, a phenomenon that is sometimes referred to as blood pressure dipping. People with severe OSA experience blood pressure dips of less than 10%, which indicates a nondipping blood pressure pattern.

People who have nondipping blood pressure at night face an increased risk for cardiovascular issues. Additionally, many patients with OSA experience a sudden and pronounced elevation of their blood pressure when they wake up in the morning. This morning surge is another factor that may increase risk for cardiovascular disease. Moderate to severe OSA increases all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

OSA doesnt only affect blood pressure at night. Studies show that daytime blood pressure levels also increase with sleep apnea severity.

How Is Morning Hypertension Treated

Can Napping Lower Your Blood Pressure

Morning hypertension generally happens because the effects of the antihypertensive medications a person is on do not last for 24 hours. Hence, your doctor may recommend antihypertensive medications that target morning hypertension to be combined with your existing hypertension treatment.

Before this additional medication is prescribed, the first step of treatment is self-monitoring of early morning blood pressure at home. Once you have been diagnosed with morning hypertension, your doctor will adjust your medications to reduce the surge in morning BP.

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Obesity And Insulin Resistance

OSA, hypertension, obesity, and insulin resistance share a complex relationship in which all four factors influence and exacerbate one another.Obesity predisposes people to OSA. Obesity also increases a persons risk of developing high blood pressure. Research suggests that when a person has both OSA and excess weight, the two conditions may affect one another in ways that impair cardiovascular health. For example, OSA and obesity both cause elevated levels of leptin in the blood. Leptin is a hormone that promotes hunger, which can further contribute to weight gain. Leptin also stresses the cardiovascular system and may promote the development of hypertension.

People with insulin resistance require higher and higher levels of the hormone insulin to be able to use a type of sugar in the blood called glucose for energy. Over time, insulin resistance can result in uncontrolled glucose levels in the blood and the development of diabetes. Obesity is a known cause of insulin resistance. Recent studies have shown that OSA is also a cause of insulin resistance, regardless of ones weight. High blood pressure is yet another risk factor for insulin resistance. Because insulin resistance is an activator of the sympathetic nervous system, it may cause or worsen high blood pressure as well.

Sleep Deprivation Can Lead Toweight Gain

According to research, people that sleep less than six hours each day are nearly 30% more likely to become obese. Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain for a few different reasons. First, it affects the levels of hormones leptin and ghrelin that control feelings of hunger and fullness.

Leptin signals your brain when youve eaten enough, but when you havent had enough sleep, your leptin levels decrease. Your brain doesnt receive the signal, and you continue eating even after you should have stopped. Lack of sleep raises ghrelin levels, stimulating your appetite and leading to unnecessary snacking.

Another reason lack of sleep causes weight gain is because it makes you too tired to exercise. You wont have the energy to be active and burn calories or build muscle mass.

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Daily Blood Pressure Pattern

Blood pressure follows a daily pattern. It is normally lower at night while you are sleeping and starts to rise a few hours before you wake up. This rise in BP continues during the day, usually peaking in the middle of the afternoon. By late afternoon or evening, your BP would begin to drop again.

Some people experience abnormality in their BP pattern. One of it is a morning surge in BP , which results in increased risk of damage to the brain, heart and kidneys. Morning hypertension could also happen in those with well-controlled BP.

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