As you check your blood pressure readings, you may find that it tends to be very high first thing in the morning. If you continue to check it and notice a pattern, this should alarm you. It may seem like every time you wake up or shortly after you start your day, your blood pressure seems to spike.
Why do you have very high blood pressure in the morning? High blood pressure is caused by a number of different factors, like stress, physical exertion, or even the foods you eat. It’s actually very common for people who suffer from high blood pressure to have what is called morning hypertension or morning high blood pressure.
Hypertension is serious business, and it can place extra stress on your heart and put you at a much higher risk for stroke or other heart problems. As blood is pumped into your vessels from the heart, it creates blood pressure. Normal blood pressure should be around 135/85 or lower. When your blood pressure gets too high, it can cause both short term effects and long term damage.
But high blood pressure is a risk factor for congestive heart failure (CHF). If you are worried about CHF, very high blood pressure in the morning should concern you as well. If this problem is frequent for you, you definitely need to talk to your doctor about what you can do to prevent it and make sure you understand the long term effects of morning hypertension.
Why Isn’t Medication Helping?
You may notice that you have very high blood pressure in the morning even with meds. How is that even possible? Actually, about 50% of people who regularly suffer from high blood pressure and who are on their meds and working to control their pressure will have high morning blood pressure.
This is a very common issue, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore it or think of it as something minor. High blood pressure should always be taken seriously, because frequent and regular high blood pressure can significantly shorten your life. Don’t expect, however, that once you’re taking medication and working to control your pressure that you will not see blood pressure very high in the morning. This is something that can still happen to you, even if you seem to be doing everything right and everything your doctor recommends.
What Causes High Morning Blood Pressure?
“My blood pressure is very high in the morning. Why is that?” It’s a common question, and we have a few answers for you.
The first culprit to look at is your medication. Some antihypertensive medications may cause morning hypertension. If you’re experiencing regular morning hypertension that is medication related, it’s likely you’re not taking the medication as you should.
If your dosage is too low, it may not do what it should through the night, and you can wake up with hypertension. You may also be using a medication that is too short acting and may need to switch over to something that is longer acting. It may also help to take only one kind of antihypertensive drug instead of multiple ones.
One way to correct the issue could be to simply split up the dose. Instead of taking a full dose right before bed, it may help to take half a dose then and the other half dose when you wake up. Some people need to get a different hypertension medication entirely. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start changing your medication or changing your dosage. What you think may be a problem with the medication might not be related to the drugs at all.
Some of the drugs you take for blood pressure can be causing hypertension in the morning. We have noticed some people complain that with clonidine, my blood pressure is very high in the morning. This is a drug that is used to lower blood pressure but is also known for causing higher blood pressure in between doses. This only happens in some patients, and it’s not very common, which is why this drug can continue to be used for treating high blood pressure. However, you should be aware that morning hypertension is recognized as one of the side effects of taking clonidine.
Another reason for high diastolic blood pressure very early in the morning is some sort of poor lifestyle choice. If you’re not getting adequate exercise, that can increase your blood pressure, any could be to morning hypertension.
If you smoke or drink alcohol, those can increase your risk of hypertension, often causing morning hypertension as well. The stress caused by not smoking during the night and your body’s craving for nicotine can increase your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor if you smoke or drink regularly and you experience morning hypertension. Your doctor may be able to advise a plan to help you cut back or eliminate these vices and make healthier lifestyle choices.
Your diet can affect your blood pressure as well, and if you eat a lot of salty foods or foods that are rich in saturated fat, you can experience morning hypertension. Even if you are taking your medication and eating a fairly healthy diet, occasional lapses in your diet can affect your blood pressure in the morning. This may not be an issue for concern unless it happens frequently.
Certain medical conditions can cause morning hypertension as well. Your risk for morning hypertension may increase if you suffer from diabetes, lupus, kidney disease, high cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea, Cushing’s syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and more.
If you know that you suffer from one of these diseases or medical conditions, then that could explain the morning hypertension. If you frequently experience high blood pressure in the morning and you know you suffer from one of these conditions, you should tell your doctor about it. Your doctor may be able to prescribe something or advise a change in lifestyle that will help you to avoid morning hypertension in your particular case.
Medical conditions like these can affect people in different ways, and not everyone who suffers from high blood pressure will experience morning hypertension just because they have one of these conditions. Try not to treat the morning hypertension on your own, but let your doctor know what’s going on and allow your doctor to provide you with personalized medical advice for your situation.
Because of a medical condition you have, you might have to take specific medication to treat hypertension that other people wouldn’t need who don’t have that same condition. You may also have to change up your diet or your lifestyle in certain ways to accommodate your medical condition as well as the risk of high blood pressure.
By paying attention to your blood pressure and making the necessary changes your doctor recommends, you can help avoid morning hypertension. This means you’ll be lowering your risk of serious heart complications and extending your life expectancy. Morning hypertension is a normal occurrence for a lot of people, but it shouldn’t be overlooked or thought of as insignificant. It’s something you need to take seriously.
I hope this article helps you to better understand what might be causing your morning hypertension and what you can do to treat it. You don’t have to continue to suffer from morning hypertension and the short term and long term effects that brings with it. You can be treated for your condition and get the help you need so that your blood pressure is manageable and your risks are lowered.