It is also sometimes necessary for a person to have their blood pressure monitored over a 24 hour period. This is done in much the same way as a 24 hour ECG in that you will be required to carry a portable device usually attached to a belt around your waist and you will be fitted with an arm cuff that will need to remain on under your clothes. It will also be necessary to keep the device on when going to bed. The device will automatically record your blood pressure during regular intervals, normally every 30 minutes to 1 hour. Some people find this can be slightly distracting and uncomfortable throughout the night.
However, it can provide important information for the doctor. For example, it may be possible to see if a person is suffering true high blood pressure, rather than the ‘white coat effect’ that can occur when a patient becomes anxious in a GP surgery or hospital surroundings. It may also show whether a person’s medication is working effectively throughout the whole day, or whether any alterations may be required. It is important to go about your normal daily activities while wearing the device to give a true indication of a person’s normal readings. The only thing a person can’t do during this test is go swimming, or have a shower or bath.