If you’re currently feeling tired or lethargic, high blood pressure could be to blame.
Often, people do not know they have high blood pressure until tested. And for some people, that can take months or even years.
There are many symptoms of high blood pressure, including fatigue and confusion, heavy breathing, chest pain, and problems with vision.
But does high blood pressure make you tired? Typically, having abnormally high blood pressure should not make you feel tired. But it could be related to another health condition that may make you feel lethargic.
This article will explain this topic in more detail – helping you understand what high blood pressure is, the common symptoms, and what to do if you think your high blood pressure is making you feel tired.
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure readings are usually taken by your doctor using a sphygmomanometer – a fancy word for the cuff that wraps around your upper arm.
The machine records two main numbers:
- Systolic pressure (the top number)
- Diastolic pressure (the bottom number)
Typically, normal blood pressure readings are approximately 120/80 mm Hg. But high blood pressure is anywhere from 130 – 180 systolic and 80 – 120 diastolic. These ranges vary massively, but are a good reference guideline.
If your blood pressure is more than 180/120, you should consult your doctor immediately, as mentioned by Heart.org.
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
Usually, most people who discover they have high blood pressure experience various symptoms.
Symptoms of high blood pressure may include:
- Chest pain
- Problems with vision
- Irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
Feeling tired is generally not a symptom of high blood pressure. But instead, it’s a side-effect of having high blood pressure, usually for a pre-longed period.
For example, if left untreated, high blood pressure may lead to a much worse condition, including coronary heart disease, kidney failure, heart and cardiovascular problems, and peripheral artery disease.
If you have any symptoms of high blood pressure, it’s essential to visit a doctor for a check-up.
A medical professional can perform routine checks for more adverse conditions, alongside providing you with further advice.
Does high blood pressure make you tired and sleepy?
Typically, high blood pressure does not make you feel tired and sleepy.
If you already have, or suspect you have high blood pressure, this may be a sign of something more serious.
If you feel more tired than usual, we recommend visiting your doctor for a check-up.
A few tips to help you manage your blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, there are a few things you can do to return the two values to a safe level.
To manage your blood pressure, you should:
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce sodium intake
- Limit stress
- Get better quality sleep
- Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
Exercise regularly to reduce your blood pressure
Many people struggle with developing a regular exercise routine.
But finding the time to exercise a minimum of 150 minutes a week, whether that’s walking, running, cycling, or lifting weights, will help you lose weight (if required) and also help to reduce blood pressure.
Reduce sodium intake
A simple way to reduce your blood pressure is to consume less sodium.
Sodium, also known as salt, is found in many foods, but some more than others, such as frozen meat, pizza, fish, poultry, bacon, ham, sausages, general takeaway food, and others.
Also, instead of adding salt to your food, both while cooking and before eating, consider alternative spices.
This is an easy way to cut down your salt intake.
I know what you’re going to say – limiting stress sounds easier in theory, but reducing stress will help lower your blood pressure.
But how can you reduce stress?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, to reduce stress, you should:
- Exercise regularly
- Consume a well-balanced diet
- Avoid caffeine and other sugary drinks
- Set realistic goals and stick to them
- Set boundaries
Get better quality sleep to lower your blood pressure
If you’re not sleeping enough or getting quality sleep, then you’re likely to have high blood pressure.
But how do you get better quality sleep?
You can try a few things, including regular exercise, turning off screens 1-2 hours before bed, wearing blue light glasses, and setting a bedtime routine.
Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
We’ve arrived at everyone’s favorite indulgences: caffeine in the morning and alcohol at the weekend.
Drinking too much caffeine and alcohol will raise your blood pressure levels. In fact, drinking too much will likely make you feel more stressed, increasing your blood pressure even further.
Stick within the healthy limits – if you currently drink three cups of coffee a day, cut it down to one to two cups. If you drink five nights a week, limit this to three and see if you experience any results.
Feeling tired or lethargic could be a sign of something more serious
High blood pressure does not make you tired. But having high blood pressure for a long time may lead to other conditions that could be impacting your health, making you feel tired and lethargic.
If you have felt noticeably tired recently, then it’s always worth visiting your doctor for a check-up, especially if you already have high blood pressure.