Many people have blood pressure issues and require constant monitoring. Find out how to check your blood pressure at home with ease.
Are you concerned about your blood pressure? High blood pressure is common and can be dangerous if left untreated. The positive news is that you can quickly check your BP at home using a simple sphygmomanometer device.
You may also use a digital blood pressure monitor. Here’s all that you may need to know about checking your blood pressure at home!
- Home blood pressure monitoring is useful in tracking your blood pressure regularly and helps ensure that your numbers are in the healthy range.
- You may choose finger/wrist-based monitors, sphygmomanometers, and electronic blood pressure monitors to check your blood pressure at home.
- Checking your blood pressure may also help you identify factors impacting your blood pressure, such as stress, diet, or exercise.
Best Time To Check Your Blood Pressure
There is no one correct time of day to check your blood pressure—it may vary depending on when you last ate and how long you’ve been awake. However, many people find their blood pressure at its highest in the morning.
That said, it’s always great to take multiple readings and average them out to get the most accurate picture of your blood pressure. Try checking your BP at two different times throughout the day to see which gives you the most consistent reading.
Besides, it’s best to check your blood pressure when resting and have no caffeine or alcohol. Blood pressure readings can vary significantly depending on what you’ve just eaten, how hydrated you are, and whether or not you’ve recently been stressed.
Home monitoring may help you work with your doctor to adjust your medication dosage if you have high blood pressure. Moreover, make other lifestyle changes to get your blood pressure under control.
What To Do Before Checking Your Blood Pressure?
Make sure you’re well-rested. A good night’s sleep is essential for accurate blood pressure readings.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before measuring your blood pressure. Both substances can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure, so it’s best to avoid them before testing.
Warm up your body. Taking your blood pressure readings on an empty stomach can give you a more accurate reading. Try taking a brisk walk or doing some light stretching before testing.
Be sure to measure it at the same time every day for more accurate results.
A high-quality device will be more accurate in measuring your blood pressure. If you are using a manual device, make sure to use the correct size cuff and put it in the correct position on your arm.
You want to ensure that you’re getting an accurate reading every time, so you can track your blood pressure and identify any potential issues. Another factor to consider is comfort. You’ll be using your device regularly, so it’s important that it’s comfortable to wear.
Finally, consider price and features. Some devices offer more features than others, and some are more affordable than others. New digital devices can also calculate your heartbeat and oxygen levels.
An aneroid monitor is a device that uses an inflation bulb to measure blood pressure. It’s considered a more accurate way to measure blood pressure than an electronic monitor, and it’s often used in hospitals.
The aneroid monitor consists of a cuff that’s inflated around the arm and a gauge that measures the pressure in the cuff. When the cuff is inflated, it compresses the artery and cuts off the blood flow.
As the heart beats, it pushes against the artery, creating a pulse. This pulse is transmitted through the cuff to the gauge, where it’s measured. The higher the pressure in the cuff, the greater the reading on the gauge.
A digital monitor blood pressure device helps you measure your blood pressure in a minute or two. It usually consists of a cuff that wraps around your arm and a screen that displays your blood pressure.
Some devices also track your readings over time to see if your blood pressure is trending up or down. This one is also easy to use as you won’t require assistance taking the readings.
- Make sure to sit down and relax for a few minutes before taking your reading. This will help ensure an accurate reading.
- See that the cuff is properly fitted to your arm. A too-tight cuff can give inaccurate readings.
- Make sure the gauge is zeroed out before taking your reading.
- If you’re using a digital device, replace batteries when required, as they may not function well with old ones.
- Take your time when measuring; don’t rush!
- Don’t talk while taking the reading, and maintain a good posture.
The process of using a blood pressure-checking device is pretty straightforward. You just need to find a quiet place to relax for a few minutes and sit with a straight back and your feet flat on the ground.
First, you’ll need to remove the cuff from the packaging and ensure it’s properly inflated. You can locate the small air release valve at the top of the cuff and give it a few quick squeezes.
Then, fit the cuff around your upper arm snugly but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable. Make sure that your other hand’s index and middle fingers are free. Keep your arm at heart level instead of dropping it down.
Take two-three readings and note them to calculate the average.
So, there you have it. Everything you may need to know about how to check your blood pressure at home. By following these simple steps, you can understand what your blood pressure readings mean for your health.
It’ll make it simpler to take any necessary action to lower or maintain blood pressure levels. Also, read how to lower blood pressure for a better understanding of your condition and find the best treatment.
- Kario, Kazuomi. “Morning Surge in Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Risk” Vol. 56, No. 5. 11 Oct 2010. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/hypertensionaha.110.157149
- S. Shah, Amy. “Comparison of Mercury and Aneroid Blood Pressure Measurements in Youth” Pediatrics. 2012 May. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3340597/
- Hypertens, J. “What is the optimal interval between successive home blood pressure readings using an automated oscillometric device?” J Hypertens. 2009 Jun; 27(6). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2941726/