Heart beat: Another reason to hate Mondays

Heart beat

Another reason to hate Mondays

Blood pressure rises and falls over the course of a day. In the average person, it is lowest just before waking up, surges upon getting out of bed, and peaks during the middle of the day. A new study suggests that a weekly cycle may accompany this daily one.

Japanese researchers asked 135 middle-aged men and women to wear a cuff that automatically measured and recorded blood pressure every 30 minutes for an entire week, from Thursday morning to Wednesday night. Average daily blood pressure fell from Thursday to Sunday, zoomed up on Monday, and then began to fall again. The morning surge in blood pressure was also highest on Monday mornings (see figure below). The report appeared in the December 2004 American Journal of Hypertension.

Blood pressure surge by day of week

Large jumps in blood pressure between sleep and waking have been linked with stroke, leading the researchers to suggest that this weekly cycle could help explain why strokes are more common on Mondays than other days. (They didn't measure the surge in aggravation due to commuting, work, and other differences between the weekend and the work week that could also explain the difference!)

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