Can High Blood Pressure Make You Tired? (2022)

Blood pressure is a measure of the force of the blood as it pumps through the arteries. It is normal for blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day depending on your activities. But if blood pressure remains elevated for extended periods of time, it can lead to health problems.

An estimated 47% of adults in the United States have high blood pressure (hypertension) and many people take medication for the condition. Sometimes referred to as the "silent killer," there are usually few, if any, symptoms of high blood pressure. But if it is left untreated, it can increase the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Can High Blood Pressure Make You Tired? (1)

Excessive daytime sleepiness or tiredness is a symptom sometimes associated with high blood pressure, and it has been shown to be a potential warning sign for cardiac events. High blood pressure may also be linked to tiredness in other ways, such as sleep disturbances.

This article will discuss the association between high blood pressure and tiredness, when you should see a healthcare provider, and how to reduce your risk of high blood pressure and related fatigue.

What Is Normal Blood Pressure?

A blood pressure reading involves two numbers: The top number measures systolic blood pressure, which is the pressure when the heart pushes blood out into the arteries. Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) is the measure of pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.

According to the American Heart Association, normal blood pressure is 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) systolic and 80 mmHg diastolic, usually spoken as "120 over 80." High blood pressure is defined by the following stages:

High blood pressure stage
Normal120/80 mmHg or lower
Elevated120–129 mmHg/80 mmHg or less
Stage 1 hypertension (mild)130–139 mmHg systolic or diastolic is 80–89 mmHg
Stage 2 hypertension (Moderate)140/90 mmHg or higher
Hypertensive crisis (seek emergency care)180/120 mmHg or higher

Systolic vs. Diastolic Blood Pressure

Can High Blood Pressure Make You Tired?

High blood pressure typically causes no physical symptoms. The only reliable way to know you have high blood pressure is to have it measured by a healthcare provider. Some health-tracking devices can also signal if your blood pressure is high.

Some people with high blood pressure complain of fatigue. This may be due to the condition itself. If left untreated, the pressure against blood vessel walls can cause unseen damage. This damage can lead to severe health issues, including stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease.

More often, tiredness related to high blood pressure is due to other contributing factors at play, including:

Blood Pressure Medication

If you receive a high blood pressure diagnosis, healthcare providers will likely prescribe medications to help manage your condition. They also may encourage healthy lifestyle changes.

Tiredness is a common side effect associated with certain blood pressure medications, such as beta-blockers. That's because some drugs work by causing the heart to beat slower, which slows the flow of energizing oxygen and nutrients to the body's tissues.

Blood Pressure Medication Side Effects

Stress

Stress causes hormone changes that are known to raise blood pressure. If stress is chronic, it can contribute to the development of high blood pressure or worsen existing high blood pressure. It also can take a toll on your health in other ways that can contribute to feelings of tiredness.

(Video) What does high blood pressure feel like?

For instance, the American Psychological Association reports that chronic stress can disrupt sleep patterns, trigger hormone imbalances, and change brain chemistry—all changes that can lead to fatigue.

Sleep Disturbances

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes breathing to stop repeatedly throughout the night. About 26% of American adults between the ages of 30 and 70 experience sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea has been shown to increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as cause daytime sleepiness or tiredness.

The relationship between sleep apnea and high blood pressure is not fully understood, but it's thought that the condition may activate the body's stress response system, which raises blood pressure. Treating sleep apnea with a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure, a breathing device meant to be worn during sleep) can help manage blood pressure.

Other sleep disturbances such as insomnia are also linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure.

Complications of Untreated High Blood Pressure

If high blood pressure is not diagnosed or controlled, the pressure against blood vessel walls can cause unseen damage. Tiredness may be an early symptom of this damage, which can also lead to severe health issues, including the following:

  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Eye damage
  • Conjunctive heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Aneurysm
  • Vascular dementia
  • Pregnancy complications

Why Am I Always Tired?

When to Seek Medical Attention

High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because many people don’t know that they have the condition. Typically, there are no symptoms or warning signs.

The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly during your routine healthcare appointments. If you have a family history of high blood pressure or are at higher risk, you may benefit from using an at-home blood pressure monitor or tracking device.

If you are experiencing consistent tiredness or fatigue that you think may be related to high blood pressure or your blood pressure medication, talk to your healthcare provider.

Seek immediate medical attention if tiredness worsens or you are experiencing other physical symptoms, including blood spots in the eyes, nosebleeds, dizziness, flushing, and chest pains.

The 8 Best Blood Pressure Monitors of 2022 for Home Use

Prevention

There are a number of lifestyle strategies that are known to prevent high blood pressure, including the following:

  • Quit or avoid smoking
  • Eat plenty of healthy, antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Reduce sodium intake
  • Manage stress levels
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly (30 minutes or more a day)
  • Limit alcohol and avoid recreational drugs

It's important to contact your healthcare provider before making any significant dietary or exercise changes. They can advise you on safety based on your circumstances and help you make a plan that is right for you.

Summary

Tiredness is often associated with high blood pressure. However, high blood pressure usually causes no physical symptoms. As such, tiredness is more likely to be caused by side effects of blood pressure medications, and other conditions linked to high blood pressure, such as stress, sleep apnea, or complications of high blood pressure, including heart disease. Seek medical attention if tiredness persists or worsens.

A Word From Verywell

Excessive tiredness can significantly impact your quality of life, so it's natural to want to get to the root of the problem.

(Video) When Being Tired Is More than Being Tired

If you suspect your fatigue is associated with high blood pressure, be sure to make an appointment to see your healthcare provider. They can help you get an accurate diagnosis or discuss alternative treatments that may work better for you.

High blood pressure is a condition that can be effectively managed with diet, exercise, and medication, but it's important to have a treatment plan and to stay on top of the condition to prevent damage to your blood vessels and heart.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I combat fatigue from high blood pressure medication?

    If you are experiencing tiredness as a side effect of blood pressure medication, talk with your healthcare provider. They may be able to change your medication, change the dose of your medication, or offer advice on timing your medication to reduce fatigue.

  • Is tiredness a symptom of high blood pressure?

    There are no physical symptoms or warning signs of high blood pressure. That's why this condition is known as the silent killer. Tiredness can be a side effect of some blood pressure medications or a symptoms of other health conditions related to high blood pressure, including stress and sleep apnea.

12 Sources

(Video) Can high blood pressure make you tired?

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. CDC. Fact about hypertension.

  2. Li J, Covassin N, Bock JM, et al. Excessive daytime sleepiness and cardiovascular mortality in US adults: a NHANES 2005-2008 follow-up study.Nat Sci Sleep. 2021;13:1049-1059. doi:10.2147/NSS.S319675

  3. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. High blood pressure.

  4. American Heart Association. Understanding blood pressure readings.

  5. Cleveland Clinic. High blood pressure (hypertension).

  6. MedlinePlus. High blood pressure medicine.

  7. American Psychological Association. Stress effects on the body.

  8. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Rising prevalence of sleep apnea in U.S. threatens public health.

  9. Gonzaga C, Bertolami A, Bertolami M, Amodeo C, Calhoun D. Obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.J Hum Hypertens. 2015;29(12):705-712. doi:10.1038/jhh.2015.15

  10. Han B, Chen WZ, Li YC, Chen J, Zeng ZQ. Sleep and hypertension.Sleep Breath. 2020;24(1):351-356. doi:10.1007/s11325-019-01907-2

  11. Centers for Disease Control. Blood Pressure.

  12. Centers for Disease Control. Prevent high blood pressure.

Can High Blood Pressure Make You Tired? (2)

(Video) When should you take your blood pressure medicine?

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Yvelette Stines, MS, MEd, is an author, writer, and communications specialist specializing in health and wellness.

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FAQs

Can high blood pressure make you tired and sleepy? ›

Excessive daytime sleepiness or tiredness is a symptom sometimes associated with high blood pressure, and it has been shown to be a potential warning sign for cardiac events. 2 High blood pressure may also be linked to tiredness in other ways, such as sleep disturbances.

Does high blood pressure make you tired fast? ›

Why High Blood Pressure Can Make You Feel Tired. If you've had hypertension for a while, you may have noticed that you sometimes feel tired after little or no exertion. When left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to some serious medical complications, including those that make you feel tired easily.

How do you feel when you have high blood pressure? ›

Blood pressure is mostly a silent disease

Unfortunately, high blood pressure can happen without feeling any abnormal symptoms. Moderate or severe headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, palpitations, or feeling of pulsations in the neck are some signs of high blood pressure.

What are the top 10 symptoms of high blood pressure? ›

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
  • Blurry or double vision.
  • Lightheadedness/Fainting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.

Can drinking lots of water lower blood pressure? ›

Something as simple as keeping yourself hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water every day improves blood pressure. Water makes up 73% of the human heart,¹ so no other liquid is better at controlling blood pressure.

How can I lower my blood pressure immediately? ›

How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Immediately?
  1. Take a warm bath or shower. Stay in your shower or bath for at least 15 minutes and enjoy the warm water. ...
  2. Do a breathing exercise. Take a deep breath from your core, hold your breath for about two seconds, then slowly exhale. ...
  3. Relax!

Can high BP make you feel unwell? ›

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Nosebleeds. Shortness of breath. Chest pain. Dizziness.

What causes your blood pressure to suddenly get high? ›

High levels of stress can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure. Stress-related habits such as eating more, using tobacco or drinking alcohol can lead to further increases in blood pressure. Certain chronic conditions.

How long does high blood pressure take to cause damage? ›

In other words, once blood pressure rises above normal, subtle but harmful brain changes can occur rather quickly—perhaps within a year or two. And those changes may be hard to reverse, even if blood pressure is nudged back into the normal range with treatment.

What time of day is blood pressure highest? ›

Blood pressure has a daily pattern. Usually, blood pressure starts to rise a few hours before a person wakes up. It continues to rise during the day, peaking in midday. Blood pressure typically drops in the late afternoon and evening.

When is blood pressure high enough to go to the hospital? ›

Call 911 or emergency medical services if your blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or greater and you have chest pain, shortness of breath, or symptoms of stroke. Stroke symptoms include numbness or tingling, trouble speaking, or changes in vision.

What should my blood pressure be for my age? ›

Normal blood pressure for most adults is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80.

What happens when you ignore high blood pressure? ›

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to disability, a poor quality of life, or even a deadly heart attack or stroke. Treatment and lifestyle changes can help control high blood pressure to reduce the risk of life-threatening complications.

How long do people with high blood pressure live? ›

If left untreated, a blood pressure of 180/120 or higher results in an 80% chance of death within one year, with an average survival rate of ten months. Prolonged, untreated high blood pressure can also lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, and kidney disease.

What diet will lower blood pressure? ›

Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and low in saturated fat and cholesterol can lower high blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg .

What is the best drink for high blood pressure? ›

What are the best drinks for high blood pressure?
  • Skimmed milk. Low-fat dairy products like yogurt and skimmed milk can help lower high blood pressure. ...
  • Tomato juice. ...
  • Beet juice. ...
  • Hibiscus tea. ...
  • Pomegranate juice.

Does walking reduce blood pressure? ›

Walking lowers systolic blood pressure by 4.11 mm Hg (95% CI, 3.01 to 5.22 mm Hg). It lowers diastolic blood pressure by 1.79 mm Hg (95% CI, 1.07 to 2.51 mm Hg) and resting heart rate by 2.76 beats per minute (bpm; 95% CI, 0.95 to 4.57 bpm).

What is the best position to sleep in with high blood pressure? ›

Sleeping on the left side is the best sleeping position for hypertension because it relieves blood pressure on blood vessels that return blood to the heart.

What is emergency treatment for high blood pressure at home? ›

Sit down and focus on your breathing. Take a few deep breaths and hold them for a few seconds before releasing. Take your blood pressure medication if your doctor has prescribed something for you. A cup of hibiscus or chamomile tea can also help you feel calmer, it is a good idea to stock up on these teabags.

Can aspirin lower your blood pressure? ›

Aspirin traditionally was assumed to have no effect on blood pressure,5 but in recent studies, aspirin intake at bedtime compared with intake on awakening considerably reduced blood pressure.

What does high blood pressure feel like for a woman? ›

High blood pressure symptoms in women can be subtle

Headaches. Fatigue. Shortness of breath. Chest discomfort.

What is normal blood pressure for a 70 year old? ›

New Blood Pressure Standards for Seniors

The ideal blood pressure for seniors is now considered 120/80 (systolic/diastolic), which is the same for younger adults. The high blood pressure range for seniors starts at hypertension stage 1, spanning between 130-139/80-89.

Is 150 90 A good blood pressure? ›

Normal pressure is 120/80 or lower. Your blood pressure is considered high (stage 1) if it reads 130/80. Stage 2 high blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. If you get a blood pressure reading of 180/110 or higher more than once, seek medical treatment right away.

Can lack of sleep cause high blood pressure? ›

Insomnia is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Over time, poor sleep can also lead to unhealthy habits that can hurt your heart, including higher stress levels, less motivation to be physically active, and unhealthy food choices.

What should I do if my blood pressure is 160 over 100? ›

Hypertension Stage 2 is when blood pressure is consistently ranging at levels greater than 160/100 mm Hg. At this stage of high blood pressure, doctors are likely to prescribe a combination of blood pressure medications along with lifestyle changes. This is when high blood pressure requires emergency medical attention.

Does anxiety cause high blood pressure? ›

Anxiety doesn't cause long-term high blood pressure (hypertension). But episodes of anxiety can cause dramatic, temporary spikes in blood pressure.

Can high blood pressure go away with weight loss? ›

In fact, your blood pressure rises as your body weight increases. Losing even 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure—and losing weight has the biggest effect on those who are overweight and already have hypertension. Overweight and obesity are also risk factors for heart disease.

Should I go to work with high blood pressure? ›

Any job or work which causes extreme changes in speed or pressure can potentially be harmful for people with high blood pressure, for example, diving, driving or flying at high speed. Certain jobs may require you to undergo a medical examination and may exclude people with high blood pressure.

How common is high blood pressure by age? ›

While only 25% of men ages 35 to 44 have high blood pressure, 64% of men from age 65 to 74, do. Women suffer from the condition at similar rates, but surpass men after age 75.

How can I check my blood pressure without a machine? ›

Place your index and middle finger of your hand on the inner wrist of the other arm, just below the base of the thumb. You should feel a tapping or pulsing against your fingers. Count the number of taps you feel in 10 seconds. Multiply that number by 6 to find out your heart-rate for one minute.

Why won't my blood pressure go down even with medication? ›

Possible causes of resistant hypertension

The accumulation of artery-clogging plaque in blood vessels that nourish the kidneys, a condition called renal artery stenosis. Sleep problems, such as the breath-holding type of snoring known as obstructive sleep apnea.

Are home blood pressure monitors accurate? ›

It also helps doctors make quick medication adjustments to keep blood pressure in the healthy zone. But home blood pressure monitors aren't always as accurate as they should be. "Home blood pressure monitors may be inaccurate in 5% to 15% of patients, depending on the threshold for accuracy used," according to Dr.

What kind of headache do you get with high blood pressure? ›

What can a hypertension headache feel like? Headaches triggered by high blood pressure typically cause a pulsing sensation that's felt all over the head rather than on just one side. If your headache is severe, happens suddenly, or is accompanied by chest pain or shortness of breath, get immediate medical attention.

Is blood pressure based on weight? ›

How Is Blood Pressure Related to Weight? As your body weight increases, your blood pressure can rise. In fact, being overweight can make you more likely to develop high blood pressure than if you are at your desirable weight.

Does stress cause high blood pressure? ›

Your body produces a surge of hormones when you're in a stressful situation. These hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. There's no proof that stress by itself causes long-term high blood pressure.

Does caffeine raise blood pressure? ›

Caffeine may cause a short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure, even if you don't have high blood pressure. It's unclear what causes this spike in blood pressure. The blood pressure response to caffeine differs from person to person.

Should I be scared of high blood pressure? ›

High blood pressure rarely shows major symptoms, yet it can lead to serious or fatal outcomes like stroke or heart attack. Don't ignore these symptoms. Not to scare you, but high blood pressure can lead to serious or fatal outcomes like stroke or heart attack.

At what blood pressure does a stroke occur? ›

Blood pressure of 140/90 or higher can damage blood vessels (arteries) that supply blood to the brain. Heart disease. Heart disease is the second most important risk factor for stroke, and the major cause of death among survivors of stroke.

How does high blood pressure affect your eyes? ›

High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the retina. The retina is the layer of tissue at the back part of the eye. It changes light and images that enter the eye into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. Damage to the retina from high blood pressure is called hypertensive retinopathy.

How do you feel when you have high blood pressure? ›

Blood pressure is mostly a silent disease

Unfortunately, high blood pressure can happen without feeling any abnormal symptoms. Moderate or severe headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, palpitations, or feeling of pulsations in the neck are some signs of high blood pressure.

Can you live long with high blood pressure pills? ›

Can you live a long life with treated high blood pressure? It's important to remember that high blood pressure is not usually a death sentence. As long as you're regularly working with your doctor on treatment and managing your blood pressure levels, you will likely live a long life.

What exercises should be avoided with high blood pressure? ›

If you have high blood pressure, you should avoid physical activity that requires sudden bursts of activity or strain as these may increase the risk of arterial rupture, heart attack, or stroke. Activities to avoid include weight lifting, playing squash, and sprinting, as well as skydiving and SCUBA diving.

Are eggs good for high blood pressure? ›

According to the American Journal of Hypertension, a high-protein diet, like one rich in eggs, can help lower blood pressure naturally while promoting weight loss, as well.

What drinks should I avoid with high blood pressure? ›

Coffee, tea, and energy drinks often contain caffeine, which can cause your blood pressure to rise by 10 mmHg or more (especially in those who also smoke).

What are the early warning signs of high blood pressure? ›

Signs of very high blood pressure
  • Severe headache.
  • Nosebleed.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Chest pain.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Confusion.
  • Heart palpitations.

Why am I sleeping so much all of a sudden? ›

The most common causes of excessive sleepiness are sleep deprivation and disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia. Depression and other psychiatric problems, certain medications, and medical conditions affecting the brain and body can cause daytime drowsiness as well.

Can high BP make you feel unwell? ›

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Nosebleeds. Shortness of breath. Chest pain. Dizziness.

What causes your blood pressure to suddenly get high? ›

High levels of stress can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure. Stress-related habits such as eating more, using tobacco or drinking alcohol can lead to further increases in blood pressure. Certain chronic conditions.

When is blood pressure high enough to go to the hospital? ›

Call 911 or emergency medical services if your blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or greater and you have chest pain, shortness of breath, or symptoms of stroke. Stroke symptoms include numbness or tingling, trouble speaking, or changes in vision.

What diet will lower blood pressure? ›

Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and low in saturated fat and cholesterol can lower high blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg .

How long can you have high blood pressure before it causes damage? ›

In other words, once blood pressure rises above normal, subtle but harmful brain changes can occur rather quickly—perhaps within a year or two. And those changes may be hard to reverse, even if blood pressure is nudged back into the normal range with treatment.

Why am I always tired and have no energy? ›

You may be too exhausted even to manage your daily affairs. In most cases, there's a reason for the fatigue. It might be allergic rhinitis, anemia, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease (COPD), a bacterial or viral infection, or some other health condition.

Why have I been extremely tired lately? ›

Many possible factors cause chronic fatigue, such as underlying medical conditions, nutrient deficiencies, sleep disturbances, caffeine intake, and chronic stress. If you're experiencing unexplained fatigue, it's important to talk with your doctor to find the cause.

Why am I always sleepy even though I get enough sleep? ›

Excessive sleepiness is a common symptom of undiagnosed sleep apnea, narcolepsy, hypersomnia5, restless legs syndrome, and circadian rhythm disorders like shift work disorder. If your doctor suspects a sleep disorder is a reason you feel tired all the time, they may refer you to a sleep center.

What time of day is blood pressure highest? ›

Blood pressure has a daily pattern. Usually, blood pressure starts to rise a few hours before a person wakes up. It continues to rise during the day, peaking in midday. Blood pressure typically drops in the late afternoon and evening.

What does high blood pressure feel like for a woman? ›

High blood pressure symptoms in women can be subtle

Headaches. Fatigue. Shortness of breath. Chest discomfort.

What is normal blood pressure for a 70 year old? ›

New Blood Pressure Standards for Seniors

The ideal blood pressure for seniors is now considered 120/80 (systolic/diastolic), which is the same for younger adults. The high blood pressure range for seniors starts at hypertension stage 1, spanning between 130-139/80-89.

Can lack of sleep cause high blood pressure? ›

Insomnia is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Over time, poor sleep can also lead to unhealthy habits that can hurt your heart, including higher stress levels, less motivation to be physically active, and unhealthy food choices.

What will Er do for high blood pressure? ›

What kind of treatment will I get at the ER for hypertension? “If you are diagnosed with a hypertensive episode, you will be given oral or intravenous medications to try to bring the blood pressure down,” says Dr. Meier. “Damage will also be assessed.

How long can you live with high blood pressure? ›

If left untreated, a blood pressure of 180/120 or higher results in an 80% chance of death within one year, with an average survival rate of ten months. Prolonged, untreated high blood pressure can also lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, and kidney disease.

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