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How Much Does Your Blood Pressure Drop When You Sleep

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Enlarged Heart And Cardiovascular Health

Can Napping Lower Your Blood Pressure

Question: I am 23 years old and in pretty good health. I have three children, and towards the end of each pregnancy, I have developed high blood pressure. Last week I went to a family doctor for a physical, and my blood pressure was 118/100. The doctor performed an electrocardiogram , and the results were abnormal she said that the left side of my heart is enlarged. She referred me to a cardiologist, and I have an appointment next week. I am very concerned. Does this mean that I will die young? Can I live a long life with an enlarged heart? I would appreciate your advice.

Answer: I agree with your doctor that aggressive management of your blood pressure is warranted. Your history of high blood pressure associated with pregnancy is not uncommon, and can be a harbinger of sustained hypertension such as what you seem to have developed. Although your top number, or systolic pressure, is not alarming, the bottom number, or diastolic pressure, is distinctly abnormal at 100 mm Hg. The criteria for assessing the enlargement of the left-sided heart in people your age are not definitive, and can depend on ethnicity and degree of physical training. Often, a trained observer can detect enlargement of the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart, on physical examination.

Making The Exercise Habit Stick

Despite our best intentions, many of us struggle ditching our sedentary lifestyle. But there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and more fun.

Start small and build momentum. If exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week sounds overwhelming, set a smaller goal and gradually build up as you gain self-confidence and momentum.

Reward yourself. Once it becomes a regular habit, exercise will reward you with more energy, better sleep, a greater sense of well-being, and improved cardiovascular health. When youre starting out, though, give yourself a simple reward for successfully completing a workout, such as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.

Choose activities you enjoy. Youre more likely to stick with a workout you find pleasurable. If you hate running but like yoga or dancing, for example, dont force yourself onto the treadmill every day. Pick activities that fit your lifestyle, abilities, and taste.

See How to Start Exercising and Stick to It to learn more.

The effects on your blood pressure

  • 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, for five days of the week can reduce your reading by 4 to 11 mm Hg.

Osa And Prevalence Of Hypertension

OSA and hypertension commonly coexist. Approximately 50% of patients with OSA are hypertensive, and an estimated 30% to 40% of patients with hypertension have OSA.- Cross-sectional studies have been consistent in demonstrating that moderate-severe OSA is significantly associated with risk of having arterial hypertension. In general, there is a linear relationship between AHI and prevalence and severity of hypertension, that is, the more severe the OSA, the higher the risk of hypertension of increasing severity.

In a study of 1,741 subjects aged 20 to 100 years, Bixler et al found that an AHI 15 was significantly associated with hypertension risk however, the strength of this association decreased with age. Another study of 2,148 subjects aged 30 to 70 years and with an AHI 15 had an OR for hypertension risk of 2.28 , after adjusting for confounders such as BMI, neck circumference, and alcohol use. In this analysis, an increase in the AHI of 5 events/h increased the risk of having hypertension by 1.25%. In the Sleep Heart Health Study, which included 6,123 subjects aged > 40 years, an AHI 30 compared with < 1.5 was associated with an OR for prevalent hypertension of 1.37 . These data demonstrate that the presence of moderate-severe OSA is positively related to both the prevalence and the severity of hypertension.

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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:

Deal With Your Sinus Problems

Is Obstuctive Sleep Apnea Hereditary? Symptoms ...

If you are having problems breathing due to nasal congestion, which in turn is causing you to snore, try using a neti pot to clean your sinuses with saline solution first thing in the morning and just before bed. This can help rinse out allergens, as well as bacteria so as to prevent sinus infections.

If suddenly exposed to allergens, you can also use a neti pot to rinse your nose out . Note that you shouldnt use it more than three times a day though.

Other remedies may help your sinuses too ranging from over the counter allergy meds and nasal sprays, to anti-inflammatory medication and an anti-inflammatory diet. You may also want to try to eliminate allergens in your sleeping area.

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Reasons Your Blood Pressure Fluctuates

If you are seeing regular fluctuations in your blood pressure readings, youre not alone. Some variation in your blood pressure throughout the day is normal. In fact, there are a number of reasons for this including small changes in daily life, such as stress, exercise or even how well you slept the night before.

According to the American Heart Association , there are more than 116 million adults in the U.S. with high blood pressure. Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General, VADM Jerome Adams, released a for hypertension control to make it a national public health priority. Experts have called for monitoring your blood pressure at home because it is a great way to gain a better understanding of your numbers.

Knowing and regularly measuring your can help you see irregularities that you want to call to your doctors attention. Keeping track of your numbers may help your doctor determine a course of action or treatment. If variances in your blood pressure readings exist, it is important to know that there are some factors you can controlbut some you cant. Lets look at some of the reasons that may cause your blood pressure to fluctuate.

Screen Dreams Or Nightmares

Another issue affecting our sleep in recent years is the prevalance of brightly lit screens in our lives computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.

Light is what synchronises our body clock, so light at night can disrupt our natural sleep cycle. The problem is that the type of light that our electronic devices emit is exactly the kind of light that will disrupt our body clock. Energy-efficient light bulbs can have a similar effect.

According to Prof Charles Czeisler, from Harvard University, Light exposure, especially short wavelength blue-ish light in the evening, will reset our circadian rhythms to a later hour, postponing the release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and making it more difficult for us to get up in the morning.

Its a big concern that were being exposed to much more light, sleeping less and, as a consequence, may suffer from many chronic diseases.

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How The Blood Oxygen App Works

In Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 7, the optical heart sensor has been redesigned to add blood oxygen measurement capabilities. During a blood oxygen measurement, the back crystal shines red and green LEDs and infrared light onto your wrist. Photodiodes then measure the amount of light reflected back.

Advanced algorithms use this data to calculate the color of your blood. The color determines your blood oxygen level bright red blood has more oxygen, while dark red blood has less.

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Data Analysis And Statistics

Sleep Apnea

BP and HR measurements were averaged across 24 hours and over the wake and sleep periods. Sleep and wake periods were defined as the actual time periods that the subjects were in bed attempting to sleep and when they were out of bed and awake, respectively . We also analyzed the data separately for the day, defined as after 6 am and before 10 pm, and for the night, defined as between 10 pm and 6 am, as is often done in clinical trials in which no information is available regarding sleep timing, to permit comparison of our results with these trials. Average daily physical activity counts and energy expenditure were estimated using the accelerometers associated software.

Paired samples t tests were used to test if averaged variables varied between the ambulatory and bed rest conditions. Moreover, linear mixed model cosine analyses were performed on raw BP and HR data to further test for differences between conditions. The cosine analyses were performed on actual clock time of measurement and included a condition factor and both fundamental and the second harmonic terms of the 24-hour day. Thus, the above cosine analysis tested the effect of condition and its interactions with the fundamental and second harmonic terms. Statistical tests were performed with SPSS for Windows, version 18 . Statistical significance was accepted at P< 0.05. Data are presented as mean ± SEM.

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Treating Sleep Apnea Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

Two major forms of sleep apnea treatment can lead to improvements in patients blood pressure.


If youre struggling to manage high blood pressure, changing your diet, increasing your physical activity, or talking with your doctor about medication for hypertension may all help. But if you have obstructive sleep apnea, one of the best things you can do for your blood pressure is to treat your sleep disorder.

An estimated 25 million U.S. adults have sleep apnea, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine a disorder in which a person regularly stops breathing, or breathing becomes so slow that blood oxygen levels drop during sleep.

But treating sleep apnea, whether with continuous positive airway pressure or with mandibular advancement devices , can lower blood pressure, according to a study published in the December 2015 Journal of the American Medical Association. Approximately one-third of patients with sleep apnea have high blood pressure, according to Michael Thorpy, MD, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

We know now from plenty of evidence that sleep apnea is associated with significant cardiovascular impairment, including cardiac arrhythmia and other problems such as stroke, says Dr. Thorpy, who was not involved in this study. There are a lot of reasons to get sleep apnea under control.

What Is The Best Position For Measuring Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association recommends sitting down to take your blood pressure. They also note that while there are differences in the right arm versus the left arm, these are small and only cause a variation of 10 mm Hg or less.

Additional posture-related factors can also affect your blood pressure readings. To get an accurate reading at your doctors office try to:

  • Sit up straight, with your back supported by the back of your chair.
  • Make sure your feet are flat on the floor. Avoid crossing your legs or ankles.
  • Place your arm at the level of your heart, supporting it on a table or armrest. You may need to use a pillow to help get the right elevation.

There are some instances where you may have your blood pressure taken lying down. An example of this is if youve been hospitalized and cant sit up.

If you have orthostatic hypotension, your blood pressure may be taken in two different positions sitting and standing. This can help your doctor monitor how your blood pressure changes when you move from a sitting to a standing position.

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Take Care Of Your Sleep Apnea If You Suspect You Are Experiencing It

Get your blood pressure levels under control by making sure you rule out a sleep disorder. If youve been experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, or even if your partner complains about your snoring, its important not to let it go unchecked. Pay Attention to Your Diet

Its not the most fun advice, but just as taking care of your sleep is important for regulating your blood pressure, youll continue to struggle with hypertension if you ignore your diet. Reduce your sodium intakethe American Heart Health Association recommends a maximum limit of 2,300mg per day, but ideally less than 1,500 mg a day. Youll also want to include healthy fats from nuts and seeds, fresh produce, and limit your intake of saturated fat. Trans fats and fried foods should be eliminated as much as possible.

What Can You Do To Improve Blood Oxygen Levels Naturally

Our New Sleep Apnea Infographic Is Informative and Impactful

You will be happy to know that there are many things that can make your lungs healthier and therefore improve blood oxygen levels.

Eat well including foods that contain vitamin D and iron, exercise, do breathing exercises, sing , get fresh air , sleep on your side, deal with potential sinus problems, avoid alcohol four hours prior to bedtime , get enough sleep, quit smoking and stay hydrated.

If you cant naturally improve your blood oxygen levels, get medical help.

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Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure

Most doctors will only consider chronically low blood pressure as dangerous if it causes noticeable signs and symptoms, such as:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Dehydration and unusual thirst
  • Dehydration can sometimes cause blood pressure to drop. However, dehydration does not always cause low blood pressure. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration, a potentially serious condition in which your body loses more water than you take in. Even mild dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue.
  • Lack of concentration
  • Depression

Q What Can Cause Low Blood Pressure

  • Your blood pressure can vary throughout the day. It depends on your body position, breathing patterns, stress levels, physical activities, medications, what you eat or drink, and the time. Some of the main medical conditions that can cause low blood pressure are:
    • Pregnancy
    • Nutrition deficiency in the diet
    • Certain antidepressants

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    Treatment Benefits Extend Beyond Blood Pressure

    Living with untreated sleep apnea can lead to additional problems besides hypertension, including for other members of the patients family, says Jordan S. Josephson, MD, an otolaryngologist and attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

    Sleep apnea leads to fatigue and poor performance at school and work, and snoring and sleep apnea cause sleeping problems for family members, Dr. Josephson says. These family members are deprived of sleep, leading them to have poor performance at work and school also.

    In addition, sleep apnea is linked to an increased risk of metabolic problems, insulin resistance, and obesity, Thorpy says.

    My general feeling overall is that people tend to underestimate the importance of sleep apnea to general health, Thorpy says. As time goes on and we get more patients treated for sleep apnea, were going to see major improvements in general health of people with sleep apnea.

    Some past research has also shown weight loss occurring after someone with sleep apnea receives treatment, Dr. Weinberg says.

    The benefit derived may be multifactorial in that the blood pressure lowers, oxygenation improves and sleep improves, Weinberg says.

    And being more awake the next day means people have more energy to exercise. Maybe they eat a healthier diet with less caffeine and sugar to keep them awake.

    What Is The Connection Between Sleep And High Blood Pressure

    Science of Sleep – Part II

    Sleep is the bodys natural way to process stress hormones known to raise blood pressure. Without enough restful sleep, the hormone levels remain high which leads to inflammation. This, in turn, can cause your blood vessels to narrow and lead to high blood pressure. Most adults require 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night. If you are in the habit of skimping on sleep just to get through the week, it may be impacting your blood pressure. Make room for sleep in your daily schedule and avoid the temptation to think you can catch up later when life is less hectic. Making sleep a priority will reduce stress, improve your health and make you better able to tackle daily tasks.

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    Treatment Of Low Blood Pressure

    Unless accompanied by other conditions, low blood pressure is usually easy to treat and does not require much medication. Often, a low blood pressure diet may be prescribed, or a change in lifestyle may become necessary. Common recommendations include:

    Increased intake of water: Dehydration can cause an electrolyte imbalance resulting in signs of low blood pressure, and care towards adequate hydration would be important, especially in high temperature situations, during fevers or dysentery.

    Increased sodium in diet: Salted nuts, cheeses and cured fish and meats are high in sodium content, and would help stabilize blood pressure in case it is very low. Care must be taken to not overdo it, however, and for a balance to be maintained.

    Limiting alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption can cause fluctuation in heart rate and limiting its consumption for some time will help alleviate symptoms of low blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals.

    Exercise: Light exercises not involving much strain to the body help improve circulation of blood throughout, and keep the heart healthy. In cases of low blood pressure, it is important to be aware of its symptoms such as palpitations and cold skin so that exercising does not aggravate the condition.

    Ceasing any aggravating medication:If intake of certain medication is seen to cause dips in blood pressure, your doctor may recommend a substitute for the drug, or even stopping its consumption till pressure is stabilized.

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