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Our sleep schedule! Nocturnal blood pressure? Who knew it was so important for our hearts?

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Do you think sleep is essential for our hearts' health?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Unsure

What is nocturnal blood pressure?

Nocturnal blood pressure is recorded at night while we sleep. Nocturnal blood pressure monitoring is said to be one of the most beneficial methods for understanding our blood pressure, as all of the confounding variables that influence blood pressure, such as stress, work and moving, are minimised [1].

Thus, our blood pressure drops around 10-20% while we sleep.

Why is this important to identify?

Nocturnal blood pressure is only diagnosed during ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (which is where your blood pressure is measured for 24 hours). Patients may have normal blood pressure during the day but not experience nocturnal dipping.

Patients who experience nocturnal hypertension are more susceptible to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease [1]. Nocturnal hypertension can be caused by underlying sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea [2].

Therefore, sleep becomes essential to our holistic management and maintenance of our long-term cardiovascular health.

How do we manage it?

Experts recommend that, to prevent an acute spike in nocturnal blood pressure:

  • Maintain a constant sleeping pattern (try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day)

  • Do not drink alcohol or caffeine before bed

  • Control anxiety and stress before sleeping

Lets prevent heart disease, not treat it



[1] R. Vij and A. J. Peixoto, "Management of nocturnal hypertension," Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy, vol. 7, no. 6, pp. 607-618, 2009, doi: 10.1586/erc.09.42.

[2] K. Kario, D. A. Hettrick, A. Prejbisz, and A. Januszewicz, "Obstructive Sleep Apnea–Induced Neurogenic Nocturnal Hypertension," Hypertension, vol. 77, no. 4, pp. 1047-1060, 2021, doi: 10.1161/hypertensionaha.120.16378.


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