Checking your blood pressure at home is an important part of managing high blood pressure.
- Measure your blood pressure twice daily for 7 days. The first measurement should be in the morning before eating or taking any medications, and the second in the evening. Each time you measure, take two or three readings to make sure your results are accurate.
- Don’t measure your blood pressure right after you wake up. You can prepare for the day, but don’t eat breakfast or take medications before measuring your blood pressure. If you exercise after waking, take your blood pressure before exercising.
- Avoid food, caffeine, tobacco and alcohol for 30 minutes before taking a measurement. Also, go to the toilet first. A full bladder can increase blood pressure slightly.
- Sit quietly before and during monitoring. When you’re ready to take your blood pressure, sit for five minutes in a comfortable position with your legs and ankles uncrossed and your back supported against a chair. Try to be calm and not think about stressful things. Don’t talk while taking your blood pressure.
- Make sure your arm is positioned properly. Always use the same arm when taking your blood pressure. Rest your arm, raised to the level of your heart, on a table, desk or chair arm. You might need to place a pillow or cushion under your arm to elevate it high enough.
- Place the cuff on bare skin, not over clothing. Rolling up a sleeve until it tightens around your arm can result in an inaccurate reading, so you may need to slip your arm out of the sleeve.
- Take a repeat reading. Wait for one to three minutes after the first reading, and then take another to check accuracy. If your monitor doesn’t automatically log blood pressure readings or heart rates, write them down.
Monitor your blood pressure
If you have been asked to monitor your blood pressure, please download our Blood Pressure Tracking Form form to record your readings. Then input the values on the form below and click submit.