Measuring Blood Pressure
When monitoring blood pressure at home, keep in mind these tips:
- Do not smoke or drink caffeine 30 minutes before you plan to take your blood pressure.
- Rest quietly for 5 minutes before starting.
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor, with your back and arm supported. Keep your arm at heart level.
- Apply the blood pressure cuff on a bare arm.
- Measure it twice in the morning and twice in the evening for 7 days before your doctor’s appointment (or after a change in medication).
- Keep your readings in a log. Download a Blood Pressure Log (.pdf)
- Try not to speak while taking your measurement.
The importance of tracking your blood pressure
Checking and recording your blood pressure regularly is very useful because it:
- Helps your health care provider know how well it is controlled.
- Helps you track the progress of your treatment and lifestyle changes, if you’ve already been diagnosed with hypertension.
- Is a helpful reminder to stick to your treatment plan.