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When is the Best Time of Day to Check My Blood Pressure?

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Updated June 02, 2014

Mid adult man measuring blood pressure
Science Photo Library - IAN HOOTON/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Question: When is the Best Time of Day to Check My Blood Pressure?
Answer:

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
  • Convenience
If you’re having your blood pressure checked regularly by a doctor, the doctor will likely try to schedule the appointments at different times. This is done purposely, so that blood pressure readings from different situations can be obtained. These multiple readings are averaged together into one composite result, which is used to give a diagnosis according to standard blood pressure guidelines. Measuring blood pressure at different times gives a more accurate picture of the average, overall situation. It accounts for differences in activity level, stress, and hormone changes.

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.

Learn More:

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. High Blood Pressure
  4. Quick Facts
  5. When is the Best Time of Day to Check My Blood Pressure?

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