There really isn’t a single “best” time to check your blood pressure. Blood pressure is typically at its lowest right after waking up and tends to vary by up to 30% throughout the day. This is a result of hormone changes, activity level, and eating. Deciding on a good time to check blood pressure is really a function of three things:
- Why you’re doing the checking
- Your daily schedule
If you’re having your blood pressure checked to monitor the effectiveness of treatment -– you may be doing this via regular visits to the doctor or on your own with home blood pressure monitoring –- it is most effective to choose a convenient time and consistently take the readings then. This situation is different because you’re trying to actually compare one relatively steady measurement to another over time. In other words, measuring blood pressure at the same time on different days should give about the same reading (excluding outside influences like exercise). By taking the readings at the same time, it is easier to actually see what effect the treatment is having. Successful treatment programs should result in “same time” readings that tend to decrease.
When choosing a time to check your blood pressure, make sure that it’s a time that fits well into your schedule. Because the actual time of day isn’t as important as making sure to take the readings at that time, you should choose a time slot that is unlikely to be disrupted by work or other conflicts.