Following on from my introduction to Hypertension (High BP), in this blog I want to discuss lifestyle strategies to prevent and assist the treatment of Hypertension (High BP).
Manage your Stress
I know its obvious, but I thought it was worth starting with this. The link between hypertension and stress is well documented as are the long list of things that help you cope including exercise, counselling, massage, reflexology etc. While we are on the subject of the obvious, I would like to remind readers that High BP is associated with high salt diets, smoking and high alcohol consumption too.
Optimise your Vitamin D levels
Ateria stiffness (atherosclerosis) is a driving factor for hypertension. As your blood travels from your heart, cells in the wall of your aorta, called barorecptors, sense the pressure load, and signal your nervous system to either raise or lower the pressure. However, the stiffer your arteries are, the more insensitive your baroreceptors become, and the less efficient they become at sending the signals. Vitamin D deficiency is, in turn, linked to stiff arteries, which is why optimising your vitamin D levels are so important.
Get enough sleep
In a study presented at the American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions, researchers found a strong link between sleep quality and a type of high blood pressure known as resistant hypertension, which does not respond to typical drug-based treatments.
In fact, women who had resistant hypertension were five times as likely to also have poor sleep quality. While the average length of sleep in this study was only 6.4 hours a night (and nearly half slept fewer than six hours each night), it was sleep quality, not quantity, that appeared to influence hypertension risk.
While this study only found an association with women, other studies have also linked hypertension in men to a lack of deep sleep,1 and sleeping fewer than seven hours a night has been linked to hypertension in both men and women.2Read Part 3References1Hypertension AHA August 29, 20112Sleep. 2006 Aug;29(8):1009-14.