Wednesday, March 5, 2014

High blood pressure and some night thoughts


I checked my blood pressure at the Chemist this afternoon. 148/103. Which is high. Probably not high enough to be put on medication, but high enough to worry about. So the reading at the doctor was correct, and my blood pressure must have gone up since last time I visited my regular doctor. At the very most, that is about 9 months ago.

Is the high blood pressure caused by the sleep deprivation? Both caused by something else? Pre-diabetes involved?

Lying awake during the night, at around 2am I had a bit of a revelatory thought. I was thinking about how I want to get this sleep problem worked out, but I really really don't want to have sleep apnoea. Imagining having to wear one of those face masks every night. And then I realised that it is probably up to me. I mean, I know that being overweight is affecting my health in various ways, but it just really hit me that I AM DOING THIS TO MYSELF. As far as I know, I don't have anything congenitally wrong with me. It is most likely that anything wrong with me, any health issues I am having, are caused by my diet and exercise habits. I can change my daily habits to make hours to study, why can't I find time and energy for my health? It is a depressing situation that I need to make empowering instead. If I can affect my own health in such a bad way, I can also do it in a good way.

Much later, maybe 6am, I was tossing and turning again. And I realised that relatively recently, but more than a year ago I think, I started sleeping with one hand cupping my face with my thumb and first finger pressing against my cheekbones. This has always puzzled me, but I kept doing it without conscious decision. And this morning I wondered if it was an attempt to keep my airways open? Is it affecting my sinuses? I don't know. I need to get this sorted so I can get some sleep.

To change the self-absorbed subject, a new study has just come out from the University of Sydney. I've only seen the media excitement about it so far, and I don't know how accurate that is. But anyway, they tested lots of different diets on mice. High protein, low fat, low calorie etc. Something like 35 different diets, the biggest study of its kind. And the headline findings are that high protein/low carb diets made the mice thinner, but also made them die a lot younger. The fatter high carb mice lived a lot longer. The worst diets were high fat and (surprisingly, at least to me) low calorie. I always thought calorie restriction, at least in humans, led to much longer life. Anyway, this is mice not humans but it is still interesting. What I get out of it is that thinner does not equal long life. Health is not just equated with skinniness.


  1. 148/103 is high! And is medicateable (is that a word?) My husband used a CPAP machine for a year. WHen he lost 75 lbs he was able to stop using it. (I think he needs it again, but he disagrees) It took a bit to get used to.

  2. I have my sleep study tonight to see if I need a CPAP machine. I hope that losing weight will help, but I might need one while I'm working on that.