Does Blood Pressure Vary Throughout the Day and Night?

When you check your blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer, it can vary from day to day – even throughout the day. This is perfectly normal as long as the fluctuation doesn’t go up to the level of hypertension (high blood pressure). The raised and decreased levels of your systolic and diastolic pressures are needed by your body to respond the changes of physical activity that you are doing throughout the day. Furthermore, your dietary foods also have an effect to this fluctuation.

How does your blood pressure (BP) fluctuate normally throughout the day?

The daily pattern of fluctuation of systolic and diastolic pressures may vary from person to person.

Systolic pressure is the force of blood against the blood vessel walls when the heart works or beats. On the other hand, diastolic pressure is usually lower than systolic pressure because it is the pressure that occurs from the force of the blood against the blood vessel walls when the heart at rest or between beats.

What the time of the day is your BP at its highest level? In general, the blood pressure usually reaches its optimum level /peak level in the middle of the afternoon.

And then it decreases gradually in the late afternoon & evening. Overall, it is lower while you want to go to sleep at night. And about 2 hours before you wake up in the morning, then again it starts to rise slowly until it reaches at its peak level in the afternoon.

This BP daily pattern is assumed when there is no any factor that can significantly affect your BP. The high BP can occur any time when there is a trigger factor that can give a significant impact on your BP!

For instance, if you experience stressful period at night – and then you check your BP straight away, it may increase higher than the peak level of your BP in the middle of afternoon.

Why BP typically reaches its peak level in the afternoon?

Basically it is about the mechanism of your body to respond what you are doing throughout the day – either for the fluctuation of your BP.

image_illustration27The blood is the place where oxygen and essential nutrients distributed from one location to another. The blood flows from the heart to the cells of the body through arteries and other blood vessels. The force of the blood against the walls of your arteries creates pressure that we call as blood pressure.

Theoretically, the blood pressure increases when there is increased volume of blood flow through arteries. It is needed when your body needs a fast distribution of oxygen and nutrient to the cells of your body in order to support your activity.

There are plenty factors that can cause increased volume of blood that flow through your arteries. Normally, it can occur when you are taking a physical activity such as during exercise. And the intensity of your physical activity tends to increase from morning to afternoon.

In abnormal scenario, raised blood pressure can occur when there is certain abnormal condition that can trigger increased volume of blood through arteries when your body doesn’t need it. Another abnormal cause is usually when the diameter of blood vessels are not as wide as it should.

For instances, a condition called atherosclerosis can narrow the diameter of an artery which then can obstruct the blood flow. Excessive production of thyroid hormones due to overactive thyroid also can have an effect.

What is the safe level of the peak level of BP throughout the day?

The answer can vary from person to person. Athletes that get used with regular exercise usually have lower level of BP at its peak level throughout the day. On the other hand, mild hypertensive and established hypertensive people can have higher.

In general, the resting blood pressure is commonly used to determine whether your BP is normal or abnormal (hypertension).

The normal resting BP is commonly bout 120 /80 mm Hg. And according to AHA (the American Heart Association), BP is categorized into ‘high’ when it reaches higher than 140 /90.

For more detailed information, talk with your doctor, particularly if you have a certain medical health problem that requires a closely monitoring on your BP.

What are factors that can affect your daily BP pattern?

There are several causes and conditions that can make the daily pattern of your BP cannot run normally. Some of these causes may include:

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