Can A Lemon Lower Your Blood Pressure While You Sleep? Here's What We Know

Lemons have been credited with a lot of different health benefits over the years. Very high in the antioxidant vitamin C, drinking lemon water has been linked to improved immunity, preventing cell damage, and overall skin health. Other benefits of this sour-tasting, bright yellow citrus fruit include prevention of kidney stones (thanks to its citric acid content), protection from anemia, weight loss and weight management (because of its pectin fiber content), improving cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of stroke (credited to the fruit's plant compounds and flavonoids, respectively), cancer prevention, and reducing diabetes risk. The fruit's antibacterial and antifungal properties are an added plus. 

Lemons are also a popular ingredient in aromatherapy and essential oils. In fact, it's common to find perfume sources with hints of lemon in them. Turns out, this aspect of lemons can also be helpful when it comes to your sleep health, especially if you're trying to lower your blood pressure as you doze. As explained by Diane Elizabeth, founder of skincare brand Skin Care Ox via Reader's Digest, "The idea is that if you place slices of lemon next to your bed, then you will breathe in the subtle scent of lemon at night." This could have positive effects on your stress levels and also soothe your respiratory system, per the skincare expert. Talk about stumbling upon surprising things that affect your blood pressure

How exactly do lemons help improve blood pressure levels?

Although stress and anxiety haven't been linked to long-term high blood pressure or hypertension, they do cause temporary spikes in blood pressure. Consistent, temporary increases in blood pressure levels can damage your heart the same way hypertension would. 

Lemon inhalation aromatherapy was linked with reduced systolic blood pressure and anxiety in patients with acute myocardial infarction or AMI (aka heart attack), per a 2020 study in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. AMI happens when there's a disruption in blood flow to your heart. Lemon essential oil is also thought to have anti-depressant-like properties because it modulates levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin in your brain, according to a 2013 study in the Journal of Functional Foods. Depression is a risk factor for high blood pressure, too.

Finding natural ways to combat anxiety, stress, and depression while taking in the scent of lemons during bedtime could be a pleasant way to get rest after a long day. Hopefully, it might also mean good sleep. Lack of sleep can negatively impact blood pressure levels, too. Talking about lack of sleep, lemons placed on your bedside table can ward off ants (thanks to the acidic oil content in the fruit) and freshen the air in your room. Both of these could help with better sleep as well. Aside from inhaling the stuff, consuming a glass of warm lemon water before bed may also help with blood pressure levels.

Consuming lemon water and blood pressure levels: The connection

According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, daily lemon ingestion combined with walking had a significant positive impact on blood pressure levels in 101 middle-aged women in Japan. A 2008 study in the International Journal of Cardiology found that consuming lemon juice was an effective alternative therapy for people with hypertension. 

It is unclear exactly how lemon water or lemon juice can help lower blood pressure levels, but some researchers credit the fruit's citric acid for its antihypertensive effect. Also, in addition to being a natural detoxifier and improving cold symptoms, lemon infused water can improve hydration in your system. As explained by nutritionist Laura Parada (via Vogue), "[Lemon] can give it [water] a pleasant taste that makes [drinking plenty of water] easier." When you're well hydrated, this has an impact on your mood. You might feel calm, satisfied, and peaceful, which can help with quality sleep.

Slice a lemon in half and place it on its own or in water on your bedside table before you get in bed. Be mindful, however, that the acidic nature of lemon juice can erode wood surfaces. As for drinking the stuff, long-term lemon juice consumption can lead to tooth enamel erosion (this is when straws can come in handy). Some people may also experience heartburn from consuming lemon water.

Speaking of blood pressure and sleep, did you know that sleeping naked can help your blood pressure levels?