People whose blood pressure increases during the night, while they sleep, they have a greater risk of incurring heart failure or other cardiovascular diseases. This is what emerged from a new study conducted in Japan by a team of researchers coordinated by Kazuomi Kario, of Jichi Medical University in Tochigi.
What is night hypertension
Commonly, it is believed that while sleeping the body rest, actually there are many functions physiological which continue at a high rate even at night. Among these, those circulatory, which in some subjects determine peaks of blood pressure such as to have potentially fatal consequences.
This condition is called nocturnal hypertension and it not only affects those who already normally suffer from high blood pressure, but it can also occur in subjects who during the day have levels that fall within the standard parameters.
The study in detail
The Japanese study involved over 6 thousand patients and has shown that it is taking the drug that increases the risk during sleep supine position, which in turn increases venous return. "The increase in nocturnal systolic pressure acts considerably on that of the heart wall, increasing both the pre-load and the afterload" he stressed. Kazuomi Kario.
The persons examined were subjected to a constant monitoring, throughout the 24 hours, through wearable recording devices. None of them had symptoms of previous cardiovascular diseases, but only a risk factor, and most were taking medications to control blood pressure.
Despite the non-existence of full-blown pathologies, after a follow-up lasting an average of 2 to 7 years, 306 cardiovascular events, including 119 strokes, 99 episodes of coronary heart disease and 88 cases of heart failure.
In particular, patients who experienced a 20mmHg (mercury) increase in systolic blood pressure at night compared to daytime measurements were more likely to experience this type of disease and heart failure.
Too low blood pressure can also be a problem
Conversely, participants who took medications to control blood pressure and at night tended to be prone to a excessive lowering of values an increased risk of stroke was recorded, as demonstrated by another previous study, also by Kazuomi Kario.
How routine exams should change
La danger of nocturnal hypertension, which is likely to turn into a silent killer, should lead to a series of reflections in the field of prevention.
Currently, in fact, it is an anomaly that is difficult to detect during the routine exams, since the checks are almost always performed during the day and this, in fact, makes the diagnostics in this field incomplete and the patient's health only partially monitored.
For this, the study pushes onimportance of including night monitoring blood pressure in cardiovascular diagnostics and patient management strategies, as explained by the professor at the head of the research team. "It is precisely when the patient sleeps that the best condition to monitor him occurs because the moment of rest is the mirror of generic bodily functioning."
What are the causes of nocturnal peaks
Research has explained that human blood pressure naturally increases during the process sodium expulsion in excess by the kidneys, particularly in people with high sensitivity to salt intake.
This usually occurs during the day and is sufficient to excrete the excess sodium. «However, in subjects with a greater quantity of salt in circulation, due to its conspicuous intake or to a particular sensitivity, blood pressure must increase not only during the day, but also at night to complete the process. This mechanism is naturally implemented by our body and is useful for that specific function but at the same time very harmful to the heart ».
What to do to prevent nocturnal peaks
This and other research has led to more doctors advising patients to take blood pressure medications in the evening, before bed, in order to keep the values better under control during rest hours and reduce the risk of mortality or serious episodes. .
Bad habits to be eliminated to keep sleep quality high
- Drink caffeine or alcohol throughout the day
- Napping during the day
- Going to sleep at different times
- Consuming sugars excessively
- Exercising too late in the evening
- Excessive exposure to blue light from digital devices
- Having nightmares
- Having discussions that involve emotional shocks
One of the most significant triggers for nocturnal hypertension is poor sleep quality, for this reason to lower the risk of an acute nocturnal peak it is good to maintain a rhythm sleep as much as possible stable. bad habits which may affect the quality of rest listed above should therefore be eliminated.
Le medical conditions Diabetes, thyroid and kidney problems can trigger a spike in nighttime blood pressure.