Nearly 120 million American adults have hypertension (high blood pressure), defined as a blood pressure at or above 130/80 mmHg. High blood pressure is a risk factor for an array of serious medical issues, including heart disease, heart attack, strokes, and kidney failure. That means if you have hypertension, your risk of all these complications goes up.
Many people know that the foods they eat can have an impact on their blood pressure, but there are other factors that can have an impact, too. Sleep is one of the lesser-known factors that actually plays a surprisingly big role in blood pressure management.
At TLC Medical Group Inc, in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Anthony B. Lewis MD, FACC and his team help patients manage high blood pressure with medication and important lifestyle changes tailored to their needs.
Quick facts about hypertension
Blood pressure is just what its name implies: the force of blood against the walls of your blood vessels during circulation. Your blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg.
Blood pressure measurements include two numbers. The first number is your systolic pressure, which is the force of your blood when your heart beats. The second number is the diastolic pressure, the force of your blood when your heart is relaxed between beats.
Hypertension is divided into two stages. Stage 1 hypertension is defined as a systolic pressure between 130-139 mmHg or diastolic pressure of 80-89 mmHg, while stage 2 is defined as a systolic pressure of 140 mmHg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 90 mmHg or more.
When you have high blood pressure, that excess force inside your blood vessels takes a toll on your organs, which is why hypertension increases the risks of heart and kidney damage, strokes and dementia, kidney failure, and vision loss. Unfortunately, hypertension rarely causes symptoms before a serious complication occurs, which is why it’s important to have regular doctor visits so your pressure can be monitored.
Sleep and your blood pressure
We all appreciate a good night’s sleep and the way it makes us feel refreshed and energized the next day. But sadly, data show that many of us don’t get enough sleep. In fact, about a third of Americans are short-changing themselves when it comes to sleep, and that can have dire consequences for your health.
Lack of quality sleep is bad news for your blood pressure and your heart, too. When you’re sleeping, your blood pressure goes down. If you spend less time sleeping, your blood pressure stays elevated for a longer period of time.
Plus, sleeping helps release special chemicals that help your body deal with stress. Over time, poor sleep routines can interfere with this process and other healing mechanisms, as well.
Getting to the root of sleep problems
Sleep problems can happen for different reasons. Many people find it difficult to “shut off” their mind after a busy or stressful day. Problems at work, at home, or in your relationship can also lead to problems sleeping. Some people have chronic pain, sleep apnea, or other conditions that interfere with restful sleep.
Regardless of what’s causing your sleep problems, the most important thing you can do is to let our team know. While many people think there’s nothing they can do to improve their sleep, that’s just not true. We can help you find a solution to catch those Zs to help reduce your risks of hypertension and other medical problems.
Learn how to manage your blood pressure
Hypertension is a chronic disease that requires ongoing management to keep your blood pressure in check. If you’re having problems sleeping or if you want to learn other ways to manage your blood pressure, call 772-200-3829 or book an appointment online with the team at TLC Medical Group today.