In this health video you will learn how to sleep your way to lower blood pressure.
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Raena Morgan: Hello, I'm Raena Morgan with iHealthTube. We're chatting with Robert Kowalski. He is the author of The Blood Pressure Cure. And that's a strong word "cure," I'm glad to hear you say that, that there's a cure for high blood pressure. Robert Kowalski: There's no question about it. Just as the things that we do in modern Western lifestyle lead to the rise in blood pressure, so also we can start doing things to lower that pressure on a permanent level without the use of prescription drugs. Raena Morgan: Let's talk about all the variables that affect blood pressure, for example, sleep most of us wouldn't think that sleep affects our blood pressure but you say that it does in your book. Robert Kowalski: Oh absolutely. First of all, as we get into sleep our blood pressure naturally falls and that would be in a normal individual. They do what's is called a 24-hour ambulatory test where someone would wear that blood pressure cuff 24 hours a day and they keep readings on the computer to see what it's like throughout the entire 24-hour period, which we couldn't do on our own because we're sleeping, so we can't measure our own at that time. Now, as we're sleeping, blood pressure normally comes down. Well, here's the problem, if you're not getting a good night sleep, breathy, restful where you fall asleep at 10 o'clock at night and you wake up at 6 o'clock in the morning or whatever your normal schedule would be, then you're going to see little surges as you're waking up because everyone experiences what's called a morning surge in blood pressure. It's dropping down during the night as you're sleeping, then at the point where you wake up there's a little surge in the blood pressure, it goes up as you start into your day, into your waking hours. Now, if you're waking up, let's say you've been under some stress you wake up at 3 o'clock in the morning and - and you start thinking about all of the things that are stressing you during your day and the problems that you're facing, balancing your checkbook, let's say paying the bills or whatever that happens to be. At that time, you're getting a surge. Now, let's say you fall back asleep and you wake up again at 4, another surge and each of those surges actually does some damage to the wall of the artery and increases the level of the blood pressure by so doing. Now, here's one of the biggest problems that we have with sleeping and it's called sleep apnea. Raena Morgan: Now, are a lot of people affected by that? Robert Kowalski: An awful lot of them. If you hear someone snoring it's likely that that person has sleep apnea. Now, the word means simply this, apnea is Greek for lack of oxygen. Raena Morgan: Okay. Robert Kowalski: We're not getting air. Well, the reason we don't get air is because we're not breathing. Literally, during the night, people will stop breathing. And, that's where they'll just it's just though they were literally dead. And, then all of a sudden they'll wake up and that's what the snoring is. That --, as they suddenly wake up and they're now for struggling to get air into the lungs to stay alive. There are people who are tested within the laboratories and, you know, what's called a sleep study, in a special laboratory, they put the electrodes on and test the person throughout the entire night. Some people, I'm not exaggerating this. Raena Morgan: All right. Robert Kowalski: Will wake up 50 times per hour. Raena Morgan: Per hour? Robert Kowalski: Per hour. That means that virtually every minute they're waking up. Raena Morgan: Struggling for air? Robert Kowalski: Yeah, they're waking up and then stop breathing again and it just keeps going like this throughout the entire time. That's why the people with sleep apnea will wake up in the morning feeling more tired than when they went to sleep at night. They've been struggling to stay alive, in effect, in a very real way just struggling to get air into their lungs, and therefore oxygen into the bloodstream. Well, th