People who take daily blood pressure medication should take it just before bedtime to get the most out of it, researchers say.
Writing in the European Heart Journal, the researchers say that while it may sound like a very simple tip, it’s one that could save lives.
The reason why taking such medication at bedtime is more beneficial is because our body clocks alter the way our bodies respond to it.
At night, our blood pressure is typically lower than it is during the day. However, if for some reason our blood pressure does not dip and remains consistently high, our chances of having a stroke or heart attack significantly increase.
The study found that patients who took their daily blood pressure medication before bedtime had significantly lower average blood pressure both at night and during the day than those who took their medication in the morning. Their blood pressure also dipped more at night.
Lead researcher Prof Ramon Hermida, from the University of Vigo in Spain, said doctors should consider recommending their patients take their daily blood pressure medication at night going forward – especially as it’s “totally cost-free. It might save a lot of lives.
“Current guidelines on the treatment of hypertension do not recommend any preferred treatment time. Morning ingestion has been the most common recommendation by physicians based on the misleading goal of reducing morning blood pressure levels.
“The results of this study show that patients who routinely take their anti-hypertensive medication at bedtime, as opposed to when they wake up, have better-controlled blood pressure and, most importantly, a significantly decreased risk of death or illness from heart and blood vessel problems.”
The next step is to determine whether the findings of the study apply to different brands of blood pressure medication.
Lifestyle factors that have an impact on blood pressure:
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Being overweight
- Not doing enough exercise
- Eating too much salt