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Best Time to Take Blood Pressure for Hypertension Monitoring
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Best Time to Take Blood Pressure for Hypertension Monitoring

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 12
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6 min

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is a health concern for many. For those suffering from health concerns, it’s important to ensure they get the right blood pressure readings.

Best time to take blood pressure

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One of the main questions that often come along with blood pressure issues is when they should be taking their blood pressure readings.

The truth is the answer to that question is an individual one as it relies on several key factors, such as your schedule and if you are taking the tests at home or with your physician. These factors will play a part in the best time to take a blood pressure reading.

In this article, we’ll look at all that and a bunch of other factors of monitoring your blood pressure. All this will be important information as you begin creating a schedule to take your blood pressure.

When Is the Right Time to Take Blood Pressure?

The best time to monitor blood pressure depends on the individual and their daily routines. Try taking your first reading 30 minutes after waking up, and then take it again the evening before going to bed. Try taking your readings at the same time every day.

It’s important to create consistency, which means maintaining a steady structure. You want to ensure that the time you have chosen to commit to daily fits your schedule.

By ensuring you’re monitoring your blood pressure at the same time every day, you’ll understand your blood pressure better. On top of that, you will have a deeper understanding of the factors that have to do with it.

Try choosing a time when you’re someplace comfortable and there is less chance of anybody interrupting your blood pressure monitoring. You have to be as calm as possible when taking the reading.

How to Take Blood Pressure?

There are several ways you can check your blood pressure. You can check it manually at home or use an automated blood pressure machine. Either will help calculate your blood pressure reading.

The automated blood pressure machine option is a good choice for those living alone. These only need one person to use and offer accurate readings. There are many places you can find these blood pressure machines.

You’ll need a traditional pressure cuff to take your blood pressure at home manually. This piece of medical equipment is designed with a squeezable balloon and a stethoscope.

However, there are tools you can use to help monitor your blood pressure and make lifestyle changes. Cardi.Health allows one to track their condition through a user-friendly app interface. Having the ability to track your heart changes can allow you to make course corrections in your daily activities and food choices.

With real-time insights, you will be able to live a healthier life and make smarter decisions. The app uses high-grade technology to deliver heart reports that help you make smart decisions when it comes to your heart health

The accurate monitoring of your blood pressure is vital to your health. Either option to have your blood pressure measured is great, but it starts with the same first step. Try finding a quiet place to sit down for a couple of minutes.

You want to find a nice comfortable place to sit so you can put your feet on the ground. It should be a location that has good back support so you can relax, too. Place your arms on the table at about chest height and just sit there for a few minutes.

Now that you have an idea of the first step, let’s look at each option for taking your blood pressure at home:

Blood pressure machine

  • You’ll first need to turn on the machine by pressing the power button and wait for it to power up.
  • Depending on the model, you may have to inflate the cuff by squeezing an attached balloon. Some out there are designed with a simple push-button to inflate the cuff.
  • When using the machine, all that’s left to do is to look at your blood pressure readings. These will display on the screen and then wait for the long beep. That is typically the sign that the reading is done, and you can note the blood pressure readings as the cuff deflates.

Manual blood pressure reading

  • In order to take your blood pressure at home manually, you’ll start by finding your pulse. Take your index and middle fingers on the inside of your elbow and search for the pulse. If you have a stethoscope, you can also do this with that.
  • Once you find your pulse, you then secure the arm cuff. Then inflate the blood pressure cuff by squeezing the balloon until you get a reading of 30 points. You should also listen to your pulse with a stethoscope while inflating. 
  • Once you get it up to the proper pressure, you’ll slowly release that and note the reading on the gauge. This will be your systolic pressure, which is the top number.
  • As the cuff begins to deflate, you’ll notice that you won’t be able to hear your pulse. You have the reading on the gauge at that time. This is your diastolic pressure which is the bottom number.

How Often Should You Take Your Blood Pressure?

No matter how serious your high blood pressure problems are, one thing is for sure monitoring blood pressure changes is key. The best option for elevated blood pressure is to give yourself as much access to accurate blood pressure measurements.

To do this, we suggest you check your blood pressure twice daily. Being able to know your morning blood pressure as well as your evening blood pressure is ideal. Within those two times, you also want to take two different readings a few minutes apart. By doing this, you’re going to give yourself a good baseline.

Once you’ve taken those, make sure you keep a journal or notebook with the date and time you took the blood pressure measurement and the blood pressure measurements themselves.

Along with this, you should also note which arm you took the reading on and your heart rate at the time. Having all this data will ensure you can track your blood pressure and any changes that occur.

4 Factors That Can Affect Your BP Readings

Home blood pressure monitoring can be difficult to get accurate ratings. This is because many factors affect it. So you must understand what factors can affect your blood pressure when you take your blood pressure at home.

Though many factors can play a part, four main ones affect your home blood pressure readings. Here are the chief four factors that can end in higher blood pressure:

#1 Stress

Any level of stress or anxiety can cause hypertension. That means your blood pressure will rise if you think about something stressful or in a stressful atmosphere. This is why home blood pressure monitoring requires you to find a calm place with no distractions for a few minutes.

#2 Smoking

Tobacco contains nicotine which has been shown to increase your blood pressure. So if you’re a smoker, take a break at least 30 minutes before taking any measurements.

#3 Caffeine consumption

Caffeine can exacerbate high blood pressure, causing inaccurate readings. It is best to refrain from caffeinated beverages for at least 30 minutes before monitoring your blood pressure.

#4 Alcohol

Alcohol has been shown to impact your blood pressure greatly. Therefore, refraining from alcohol for 30 minutes before monitoring your blood pressure is suggested if you want to get accurate readings.

FAQs

When is your blood pressure the lowest?

When it comes to your blood pressure, it is lowest while you’re sleeping. As you begin to wake in the morning, pressure will start to rise. And continues to do so throughout the day. So your blood pressure is the lowest first thing in the morning.

When is BP the highest?

High blood pressure reaches its highest during the midday hours. It increases during the morning and throughout the day, beginning to drop in the afternoon and evening.

What happens if you take your blood pressure twice?

If you do this and you wait 3 to 5 minutes between each, it will allow you to ensure your measurements are more accurate. If there is a big difference, you may even need to take a third one and record every single one you do.

A Word From Our MD

Heart disease is the number one cause in the United States. This health concern is increased by the rampant issue of obesity. To treat this, one needs to pay attention to managing high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Utilizing apps and online resources, you can develop a personalized nutritional and activity plan that helps you do that. Staying active and aware of what you’re putting in your body is the best way to combat heart disease.

Conclusion

Consistently checking your blood pressure is vital when dealing with your heart health. Understanding the best time to do that and the factors contributing to it will help you manage your health better.

Try taking your blood pressure readings two times a day: once in the morning and once before going to bed. This way, you will be able to follow any changes. Cardiovascular health apps, such as Cardi.Health, could also help you to manage your BP.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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