One of the best ways to get ready for good sleep is to relax before bed. Bringing down blood pressure can help you calm down and prepare your body and mind to sleep.
A good night’s sleep is one of the main pillars of health, along with diet and exercise. Your body and mind need about eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every 24-hours to recover and rejuvenate.
A relaxing bedtime routine is a key component of heart health and sleep quality. It may also prevent memory loss and reduce the effects of high blood pressure.
Most people naturally slow down in the evening before bed. Circadian rhythm helps to lower blood pressure as it gets dark. This natural drop in blood pressure is called “dipping.”
Others, however, are not so lucky. These people experience elevated blood pressure at night. This “reverse dipping” may not only make it hard to sleep but could harm your brain. A new study has shown that reverse dipping can lead to memory problems and more.
It also appears to amplify existing complications caused by high blood pressure.
Staying calm before bed may seem more challenging these days than ever before. With a steady stream of COVID-related bad news coming at you, pent up energy from staying in the house all day, and the added stress of feeling utterly powerless, your blood pressure could be sky-high just when you want to settle into bed.
Aside from taking the often-recommended measure to reduce blood pressure, focusing on how you’re feeling in the evening could play an important role in keeping your memory, and body, functional.
Try to avoid news in the evening, or even thinking about many of the stresses you’re feeling. Instead, use the evening hours to focus on things you enjoy. A movie with a loved one, a good book, or a lighthearted phone call with a friend may be helpful.
The evening hours also present a good time to get outside for a walk, as most people will be indoors. Just don’t move too quickly: keeping heart rate and blood pressure down is the goal.
Doing your best to keep blood pressure down at night might help maintain white matter in the brain and prevent memory loss. A healthy diet, more activity, weight loss, and stress management can all help keep blood pressure under control.