Monitoring blood pressure at home is prescribed to diagnose hypertension, or to monitor the effectiveness of antihypertensive therapy. A self-assessment blood pressure monitor is, thus, one of the best investments.
Blood pressure varies as the day progresses. Regular checks during the day will ensure the effectiveness of medication or lifestyle changes and help in the better management of hypertension. Dr S.K Mundra, HOD Internal Medicine, Saroj Super Specialty Hospitals, suggests the right time to monitor your blood pressure and how to get an accurate reading:
Regular monitoring is important if you have elevated blood pressure, which may contribute to other health complications. The first reading must be taken in the morning, right when you wake up. At this hour, your body is relaxed with no physical exertion or stress. Also, since you have not taken medication for a longer duration, the chances of the BP reading being accurate are higher.
Do not drink water or eat anything before this reading. Consuming tea or caffeinated beverages can stimulate blood pressure and reflect inaccurate readings. You can place the blood pressure monitor by your bedside as a reminder to check your BP immediately after you wake up.
The second reading can be recorded in the evening or a few hours after you have taken medication. However, ensure that your diet is low in salt as it can spike your blood pressure levels.
Regular and timely measurement blood pressure can help you and your doctor in making decisions about the dosages and changes in medication.