Midday Naps Reduce Blood Pressure

MiddayNapsBPHere’s the study:
Midday Naps Associated With Reduced Blood Pressure And Fewer Medications, European Society of Cardiology, Press Release from Presentation at 2015 Annual Meeting, London, 29 August 2015

Patients were 386 middle-aged men and women, average age 61.4 years.

After adjusting for other factors that could influence BP such as age, gender, BMI, smoking status, salt, alcohol, exercise and coffee, the researchers found that midday sleepers had 5% lower average 24 hour ambulatory systolic BP (6 mmHg) compared to patients who did not sleep at all midday. Their average systolic BP readings were 4% lower when they were awake (5 mmHg) and 6% lower while they slept at night (7 mmHg) than non-midday sleepers (Figure 1).

Reductions as small as 2 mmHg in systolic blood pressure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by up to 10%.

Midday sleepers pulse wave velocity levels were 11% lower and left atrium diameter was 5% smaller. “These findings suggest that midday sleepers have less damage from high blood pressure in their arteries and heart.”

Hypertensive patients who slept at noon were under fewer antihypertensive medications compared to those who didn’t sleep midday.

The longer the midday sleep, the lower the systolic BP levels and probably fewer drugs needed to lower BP.

So, if you could set aside an hour (!) in the middle of the day, you could really dent your blood pressure readings, an effect that carries over while you sleep at night, preserves your heart and arteries, and is strong enough to considerably lower your risk for heart attack. Why not nap? This is probably why many people won’t nap:

He added: “Μidday sleep is a habit that nowadays is almost a privilege due to a nine to five working culture and intense daily routine.

A midday nap is a luxury. The retirement age in the US is 67; the average age of these participants was 61. How did they manage to stop work for an hour to sleep? Where did they sleep? If it was on their lunch break, when did they eat lunch? Was this paid leave-to-nap (a true luxury)? You could almost read this study as saying that the structure of modern life raises blood pressure, and that sleeping, which is a natural bodily function, contributes to a healthy pressure.

Workers2

Worker

Workers3

One thought on “Midday Naps Reduce Blood Pressure

  1. Bix Post author

    Today is Labor Day in the US, a day set aside for workers to cease their labors and celebrate the contribution they have made to the prosperity of … their employers? Well, everyone is off except for workers at Walmart, Target, Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, and other big-box stores that are open today. And probably malls and restaurants. All to encourage Americans to get more things, to consume.

    I love that term “unbridled consumerism.” Remember who said that?

    “There are constant assaults on the natural environment, the result of unbridled consumerism, and this will have serious consequences for the world economy.”

    Reply

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