Question: How does my blood pressure change throughout the day and night?
Answer: Blood pressure does tend to change during the day. When we wake up, it typically is somewhat higher than it is after we've had a chance to sit down, eat some breakfast. Blood pressure is also higher first thing in the morning because when we get up from a lying position, many of us get a sudden rush of adrenaline, and that adrenaline tends to raise one's blood pressure and heart rate.
Many of us also tend to be -- think about all the different things we have to do during the course of the day. And it's important for people to realize that there's going to be fluctuations from minute to minute in one's blood pressure.
But the most important thing is trying to take multiple readings during the day if a person does have a tendency for higher blood pressure, and to go over with your physician or other health care provider what these numbers mean. Normal or optimal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80. And we call hypertension greater than 140 for the top number, greater than 90 for the bottom number. And now, if people have multiple risk factors for heart disease, many of us are trying to aim for at least blood pressure of less than 130 over 80.