Is Blood Pressure Higher or Lower in the Morning?

By Bridget Reed
Medically Reviewed by:

Heidi Wright, BSN, RN, PCCN, and Certified Master Herbalist

Is Blood Pressure Higher or Lower in the Morning?

January 18, 2024

Blood pressure, an important indicator of cardiovascular health, often isn't static throughout the day. Instead, it goes through variations influenced by many factors, including the time of day. As we start our mornings, whether our blood pressure should be higher or lower is a common point of curiosity. 

Our body's internal clock plays a key role in these fluctuations — this internal rhythm is behind a range of physiological processes, from our sleep-wake cycle to hormone secretion. 

Read on as we explore how and why blood pressure fluctuates, and what role your internal clock may be playing. 

What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure refers to the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of our blood vessels. Measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), it's presented as two numbers

  • The first, or “top number,” represents systolic pressure, which indicates the force when the heart contracts and pumps blood. 
  • The second, or “bottom number,” is the diastolic pressure, reflecting the force when the heart relaxes between beats.

Maintaining blood pressure within an optimal range is essential for overall health. It ensures efficient nutrient and oxygen delivery to all parts of the body. Elevated blood pressure can strain the heart, potentially leading to complications like heart disease or stroke. 

Various factors, from salt intake to stress levels, can influence blood pressure, making it important for individuals to be aware of these determinants.

How Does the Body's Circadian Rhythm Work for Blood Pressure?

Our body operates on an internal clock known as the circadian rhythm, which roughly follows a 24-hour cycle. This rhythm is ingrained in our biology, influencing metabolism, body temperature, hormone release, and sleep-wake cycle, determining when we feel alert or sleepy.

This internal clock also plays a role in blood pressure fluctuations. Typically, blood pressure dips during sleep and starts to rise before we wake up, with a noticeable surge in the morning. This rhythm, while natural, means that understanding the intricacies of our circadian clock is crucial for those aiming to maintain their blood pressure.

Why Do Morning Blood Pressure Surges Happen?

As dawn breaks and the world awakens, so does our body's physiological activity. A notable change observed during the early morning hours is a surge in blood pressure levels — but what prompts this?

One primary reason is the body's increased demand for oxygen as we transition from rest to activity. As we stir from sleep and commence our day, our heart rate accelerates, and our blood vessels constrict to meet the demands of our waking bodies. 

The morning hours witness a spike in certain hormones, like cortisol, which naturally raise blood pressure. Numerous studies corroborate this pattern, noting a typical surge in blood pressure during the early parts of the day.

What Factors Influence Morning Blood Pressure?

While the intrinsic circadian rhythm and physiological demands of waking are central to the morning blood pressure surge, other external factors can exacerbate or mitigate this natural rise. Recognizing these elements is essential for a more holistic understanding and effective management of morning blood pressure. 

Some of these factors include:

Dietary Choices

Your diet and nutrition play a key role in your blood pressure, and your overall wellness. A breakfast high in salt, for example, can temporarily spike blood pressure.

Staying well-hydrated can also help in maintaining stable blood pressure. “Dehydration, on the other hand, sometimes leads to high blood pressure or may lead to drops in blood pressure that cause dizziness and fatigue,” notes Heidi Wright, Registered Nurse and Certified Herbalist.

Habits and Routines

It’s also important to consider your habits and overall routines. Alcohol consumption, for example, can contribute to blood pressure fluctuations. If you consume alcohol the night before, it might lead to elevated blood pressure the following morning.

Smoking, vaping, or consuming tobacco products in the morning can also instantly raise blood pressure.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors like temperature and even air quality can also influence your blood pressure. Cold mornings can cause blood vessels to constrict, leading to higher blood pressure, and polluted air can lead to inflammation — which, in turn, can lead to an increase in blood pressure.

Emotional and Mental State

Waking up to stressful news or a challenging day ahead can contribute to a temporary rise in blood pressure by kickstarting your stress response. Positive emotions, on the contrary, might have a stabilizing effect.

What Are the Potential Risks of Elevated Morning Blood Pressure?

While the morning surge in blood pressure is a natural physiological response, consistently high readings during this time can signal underlying health concerns

These elevated levels, especially if sustained over a period, carry inherent risks:

  • Cardiovascular Complications: A consistently high morning blood pressure can be an indicator of increased risk for heart-related events, such as heart attacks or strokes. The heightened pressure on blood vessel walls during these hours can exacerbate existing vulnerabilities.
  • Organ Damage: Prolonged elevated blood pressure can cause damage to critical organs like the heart, kidneys, and eyes, impairing their functionality and potentially leading to long-term health issues.
  • Early Indicator of Hypertension: If morning readings consistently exceed the standard range, it may be an early sign of developing hypertension, a condition marked by chronically high blood pressure, which necessitates medical intervention.

While natural fluctuations in blood pressure are expected, consistent abnormalities or consistently high blood pressure is a sign that it’s time to consult your healthcare provider about next steps.

How Can You Support a Healthy Blood Pressure?

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is pivotal for overall health and well-being. Now that we've covered the dynamics of morning blood pressure and its implications, here are some actionable tips to support a healthy range:

Embrace a Balanced Diet

Prioritize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Processed foods, red meats, and excessive sugars are best when consumed minimally. It’s also beneficial to watch out for hidden sources of sodium in processed foods, canned goods, and restaurant meals, as sodium can contribute to high blood pressure and other health risks.

Engage in Regular Exercise

A simple 30-minute walk, jogging, or gardening can work to support healthy blood pressure. Physical activity can also help ease feelings of stress, build muscle, and support your sleep quality, meaning it works to promote your wellness in a wide range of ways.

Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy BMI and waist circumference, and maintaining a healthy weight is crucial in blood pressure maintenance.

Incorporate Teas and Supplements

Our Heart Functional Tea is a caffeine-free blend of carefully chosen natural ingredients like ginger root and hawthorn berry. It's an easy and delightful addition to your daily routine to support blood pressure health.

Supplements can also be a great way to complement a balanced diet and support your wellness. Turmeric's active component, curcumin, has health benefits ranging from tension relief to cardiovascular support, and our Heart Turmeric Complete Plus CoQ10 Capsules are specially crafted to support heart health.

“Remember to consult with a healthcare professional if you have a health condition or take medication before adding an herbal supplement to your daily wellness routine,” Wright adds.


Understanding the intricacies of blood pressure and its daily fluctuations can empower you to make informed decisions about your health. While natural variances throughout the day are expected, recognizing patterns is key for adjusting your lifestyle as needed. 

At Herbaly, we’re committed to supporting you on this journey, offering knowledge and holistic solutions for optimal well-being. Together, let's embrace a healthier tomorrow.

To learn more about heart health and overall wellness, check out our other resources.


What Is Blood Pressure? | Cleveland Clinic

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings | American Heart Association

Circadian Rhythms | NIH

Cortisol and hypertension | PCM

Inflammatory effects of particulate matter air pollution | PCM

Morning Surge in Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Risk | Hypertension

Turmeric | NCCIH

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