Most hypertension patients wonder if high blood pressure can make them tired, sleepy, or lethargic. Find all your answers in this article!
High blood pressure has been named a “silent killer” because there are no apparent signs of the condition. But do you feel lethargic more often than usual, and does high blood pressure make you tired or sleepy?
If you answered yes to the first part, monitoring and controlling your high blood pressure is vital. This is because feeling tired can indicate hypertension-related heart or kidney issues.
Moreover, stroke, renal diseases, or heart attack are all possible outcomes of untreated hypertension.
So, what is the connection between high blood pressure and fatigue? This article will help shed light on the link.
- There is a strong link between feeling tired or sleepy with high blood pressure due to underlying conditions or medication.
- Kidney disease, arterial disease, and sleep apnea are possible explanations for lethargy with hypertension.
- Proper treatment and control can reduce the risk of fatigue caused by elevated blood pressure.
So, Does High Blood Pressure Make You Feel Tired, Sleepy, or Fatigued?
Fatigue and high blood pressure are connected, but they could also be a symptom of underlying causes—for example, hypertension medication like beta-blockers list tiredness as a potential side effect.
A few explanations for feeling tired or sleepy due to high blood pressure include the following:
When blood pressure is high, blood flow to the kidneys is restricted. This can also damage the vascular system around your kidneys, accumulating toxins and waste as it becomes difficult to filter.
There is a direct correlation between high blood pressure, kidney damage or disease, and reported tiredness and weakness.
Coronary heart/ artery disease
Coronary artery disease is a potential complication for hypertensive people. Because of impaired blood flow, arteries might narrow and thicken.
Moreover, plaques containing fatty, waxy excess fat and cholesterol can cause arterial blockages.
Symptoms of coronary heart disease include fatigue and feeling tired. In addition, these include:
- Discomfort or tightness in the chest
- Arm or shoulder pain
- Irregular heartbeat or rate
- Shortness of breath
Enlarged heart or failure
When you have high blood pressure, your heart muscles work harder than average, causing them to expand. The size of your heart and how much blood it requires are pegged to each other, but the larger your heart, the less efficiently it pumps.
Heart failure can occur if the condition is left untreated. Unfortunately, most people with an enlarged heart may experience no symptoms, making it hard to detect the disorder.
However, in addition to fatigue, some patients have reported:
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat or rate
- Leg and foot swelling
Peripheral artery disease
Peripheral artery disease affects the blood vessels of your limbs, head, and stomach. But did you know that 33 to 35% of PAD patients have also been diagnosed with high blood pressure?
PAD causes narrowed arteries that can lead to tissue damage and even death.
Fatigue is one of the prime symptoms of peripheral artery disease. Several patients also experience numbness and pain in the lower calves and feet or while walking.
Pulmonary artery hypertension
Pulmonary artery hypertension is another potential source of fatigue. This is caused by high blood pressure within blood vessels from the heart to the lungs.
Patients may also experience chest pain and lightheadedness while feeling tired or sleepy.
Sleep deprivation or apnea
High blood pressure may cause fatigue, but sleep deprivation can worsen things. You are more likely to develop hypertension if you get 5 hours or less sleep per night.
Mood swings and memory lapses are also possible side effects.
The Bottom Line
Hypertension and fatigue may be related in various ways. It can be a symptom of kidney or heart damage caused by high blood pressure.
Alternatively, hypertension medication, lifestyle changes, and coexisting health conditions have all been linked to feeling tired and sleepy with high blood pressure.
You might benefit from various changes if you want to lower blood pressure and boost energy levels. You can refer to our extensive guide on practical ways to lower and control hypertension.
Checking your blood pressure and addressing your quality of life can help improve fatigue. But if this symptom persists or worsens, it’s vital to inform your doctor.
- Barri, Y. M. “Hypertension and kidney disease: a deadly connection.” Current Hypertension Reports 10 (2008): 39-45. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11906-008-0009-y
- Weber, T. et al. “Hypertension and coronary artery disease: epidemiology, physiology, effects of treatment, and recommendations.” Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 128 (2016): 467-479. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00508-016-0998-5
- Clement, D. L., Buyzere, M. L. D. and Duprez, D. A. “Hypertension in peripheral arterial disease.” Current Pharmaceutical Design 10. 29 (2004): 3615-3620. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15579058
- “Facts About Hypertension.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022) https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm
- “Health Threats from High Blood Pressure.” Heart.org (2022) https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/health-threats-from-high-blood-pressure
- “How Does Sleep Affect your Heart Health?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022) https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/sleep.htm
- Paz, E. “Sleep Apnea: Symptoms, Treatment, & Diagnosis.” K Health (2019) https://khealth.com/learn/sleep-apnea/what-is/