According to new research presented to the European Society of Cardiology annual conference in London, England, a nap a day could save your life. Specifically, a midday nap is reportedly “associated with reduced blood pressure” and could reduce the risk of a heart attack.
A team of researchers analyzed the effect of naps on the blood pressure levels of 386 patients with higher blood pressure. The average age of the hypertensive subjects was 61.4 years.
The investigative team discovered that those who took midday naps had a five percent lower “average daily blood pressure measurement” when compared to those subjects who did not nap. They also studied the pulse and hearts of subjects and learned that those subjects who nap had suffered less damage high blood pressure in both their heart and their arteries.
Finally, they discovered a connection between the length of a nap and hypertension. Participants who slept for one hour had the best blood pressure results.
The team of researchers also reported that they were careful to account for numerous other factors that could affect blood pressure. Throughout their project they considered elements such as age, alcohol use, BMI, coffee consumption, exercise gender and smoking status.
Dr Manolis Kallistratos, study author and cardiologist at Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, Greece noted that while the reduced blood pressure levels reported may appear small, past research has proven that even seemingly smaller levels have reduced “the risk of cardiovascular events”.
Kallistratos concludes: “Midday sleep is a habit that nowadays is almost a privilege due to a nine to five working culture and intense daily routine. Our study shows that not only is midday sleep associated with lower blood pressure, but longer sleeps are even more beneficial.
We found that midday sleep is associated with lower 24 hour blood pressure, an enhanced fall of blood pressure at night and less damage to the arteries and the heart. The longer the midday sleep, the lower the systolic blood pressure levels and probably fewer drugs [are] needed to lower blood pressure.”
Could 1 Nap A Day Save Your Life?