In normal and hypertensive adults, blood pressure drops during sleep 1. This effect is known as dipping and may be associated with better sleep quality and cardiovascular function. However, not all adults experience dipping.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Normal dipping also occurs in otherwise healthy hypertensive adults. Hypertension is chronic resting blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg. An adult with a blood pressure of 160/100 mmHg may dip to 128/80 mmHg during sleep 1.
Dipping is independently associated with deep sleep and fewer waking cycles, which results in more restful and higher quality sleep. Dipping and deep sleep are beneficial to normal human function.
It is estimated that 17% of the adult population does not experience dipping. There is a higher prevalence of hypertension and interrupted sleep in people experiencing little to no dipping.
According to a 2004 study published in “Sleep,” Non-dipping maybe associate with an increased risk of hypertensive organ damage. The value of a good night’s rest is inestimable. If you are hypertensive and not getting quality sleep, consult your physician and lifestyle coach.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Pedro Simões