High blood pressure: When should your reading be lowest? Expert reveals sleep is the time


High blood pressure readings are lowest when you sleep, an expert has claimed.

Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary, University of London, and chair of the UK’s only blood pressure charity, Blood Pressure UK, told the Express.co.uk during an interview.

“The problem is, blood pressure varies tremendously depending on what you’re doing,” he said.

“It goes down, however, when you’re sleeping or resting.

“You get the biggest falls when you sleep.”

Blood pressure falls the most during sleep as this is when the least activity is taking place.

“Blood pressure is normally lower at night while you’re sleeping,” said the US-based Mayo Clinic.

“It starts to rise a few hours before you wake up.

“Your blood pressure continues to rise during the day, usually peaking in the middle of the afternoon.

“Then in the late afternoon and evening, your blood pressure begins dropping again.”

Graham added when a blood pressure measurement is taken in the morning, it should be less than 120/80 mmHg.

“If it is between 120 – 140 then you are at risk of complications and need to take action,” he told Express.co.uk.

“If you check blood pressure and it is above 140 often during the day, talk to a nurse to see whether you need treatment.”

Methods for lowering blood pressure include not drinking excess alcohol and sticking to a diet which contains more fruits and vegetables.

Cutting out high salt foods can also help keep blood pressure low.

High blood pressure can increase the risk of having a heart attack or kidney failure, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Around one in three people in the UK have the condition, said Graham.

“That means every time you’re in the shops or on the high street, every third person you see has high blood pressure,” he said.

Blood pressure should be measured in both arms with the cuff level to the heart.

If you have a high blood pressure reading, you should speak to your doctor.

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