You Are At: AllSands Home > Health > Advice > Checking your own blood pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of the artery. Being able to check your blood pressure will help to monitor at different times of the day, which may be strategic information for your doctor.

Your blood pressure changes at different times of the day. It is up when exercising or down when at rest. Other factors play a part in increasing the reading, such as stress, too much caffeine, and so on.

The brachial artery is the blood vessel that goes from the shoulder to just below your elbow. This is where you will be measuring the blood pressure. You will see two readings. Systolic is the higher pressure and the diastolic is lower pressure in the artery when the heart is at rest.

An aneroid monitor or a digital monitor can be used. The aneroid has a dial gage measured by a pointer. The cuff is inflated by a rubber bulb, which you squeeze by hand. Digital monitors have a reading which flashes on a small screen. You should try both of these devices and choose the one that best suits you.

* Make sure the cuff is the correct size.
* This is based on the size of your arm. The possibility of a wrong reading may occur if the cuff does not fit correctly.
* Make sure you can see the numbers on the cuff.
* The cost varies in price so you may want to shop around.
* You will need to be able to hear the heart sounds if using a stethoscope. This is an acoustic instrument used to hear the beats of the heart used with the aneroid monitor.

Measuring Blood Pressure:
Rest for a few minutes sitting in a comfortable position placing your arm to the level of your heart. Wrap the cuff snugly around the upper part of your bare arm. Leave enough room to place one finger between the cuff and your arm. The bottom of the cuff needs to be at least one inch above the crease of your elbow.

1. Place the stethoscope earpiece in your ears.
2. The disk is placed on the inner side of the crease of the elbow.
3. Inflate the cuff making sure it is at least 40 points higher than your normal systolic pressure.
4. Inflate rapidly in order to get a more correct version.
5. Very slowly, let the air out if you are too quick you may miss the actual blood pressure reading. As the air releases you will hear your heartbeat.
6. Listen for the first beat. Look at the pointer on the dial because this will be your systolic pressure.
7. Continue to deflate the cuff and listen for the last beat, and check the pointer again, this will be your diastolic measurement.
8. Write the numbers down systolic first then the diastolic, such as 130/80.

You now have an idea on monitoring your blood pressure nonetheless you should visit with your family physician and ask if this information is beneficial in your particular case.