Harvard Heart Letter

When blood pressure dips too low

To avoid feeling dizzy or faint when you first get up in the morning, pump your legs a few times to get your blood flowing before standing up.
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Do you ever feel dizzy or faint when you stand up? Here's one common reason—and what to do about it.

Your blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day, with lots of small ups and downs punctuated by occasional peaks and valleys. Just as a thermostat adjusts your furnace or air conditioner to keep your house at a comfortable temperature, your body has a built-in mechanism to keep your blood pressure relatively stable (see box).

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