If you were to regularly take your blood pressure when you wake up each day and just before you go to bed at night you should notice a pattern of variance between the 2 readings.
This is because our blood pressure has a circadian rhythm.
Blood pressure is normally lower at night and then starts to rise a few hours before you wake up. It 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.
This is a healthy dipping pattern and denotes a healthy blood pressure circadian rhythm.
So, what happens if this is not the case? What if you don’t dip?
There are many studies suggesting that people who do not show an appropriate nocturnal dip in blood pressure, called non-dippers, are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular complications and disease.
We can greatly impact our blood pressure, both negatively and positively, by our sleeping pattern.
Research has found that those who sleep less than 4 hours a night are at a higher risk of hypertension, which is high blood pressure, than those who sleep 7 hours each night.
And here’s a kicker. Even one bad night’s sleep can have an impact by causing a spike in blood pressure that night!
Home Monitoring Of Your Blood Pressure
Taking your blood pressure reading regularly is a simple habit to develop. It will give you a day to day snapshot of your reading and over time give you a pattern of your blood pressure. This will help you to identify irregularities or changes.
And this is important both for cancer prevention and for those going through treatment.
Hypertension is associated with a higher risk for not only developing cancer but dying from it as well.
In one large study that included 289,454 men and 288,345 women, the results showed that higher than normal blood pressure was statistically significantly associated with a 10-20% higher risk of developing cancer in men, and a higher risk of dying from the disease in both men and women.
And for those in active care, there is a known association between chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment and the development or worsening of hypertension.
There is a known association between chemotherapy and radiotherapy for treatment of cancer patients and development or worsening of hypertension…Morbidity and mortality increased in patients with cancer and hypertension without proper antihypertensive treatment. We concluded that there is need for early diagnosis, effective monitoring and treatment strategies for hypertension in cancer patients in order to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality
As well, other medications used to treat cancer can cause a rapid onset of elevated blood pressure.
So, in both cancer prevention and in active care, monitoring your blood pressure is a simple yet powerful tool to include in your own health protocol.
If you have early warning signs of a change in your blood pressure, whether in active cancer care or in prevention, you can bring this to the attention of your physician and get ahead of potential issues.
Sleep and Hypertension
High blood pressure is linked to increased risk of developing or dying from cancer
Association between blood pressure and risk of cancer development: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies
Hypertension in Patients with Cancer
Hypertension and cancer treatment