– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Regular naps could help to reduce blood pressure, new research has found.
Findings recently presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session found that people who took advantage of a midday snooze were more likely to have a noticeable drop in blood pressure compared with those who didn’t partake.
Taking a nap during the day was associated with an average 5 mm Hg drop in blood pressure, which researchers suggested is on par with other blood pressure-lowering interventions.
Dr. Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist at the Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula, Greece, and one of the study’s co-authors, highlighted that, while those with higher blood pressure may notice more significant effects, any effort to maintain low blood pressure should be encouraged.
“These findings are important because a drop in blood pressure as small as 2 mm Hg can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack by up to 10 per cent,” he said. “Based on our findings, if someone has the luxury to take a nap during the day, it may also have benefits for high blood pressure.”
The findings corresponded with previous research, which also found that regular bouts of sleep reduced blood pressure levels and resulted in fewer antihypertensive medications being prescribed.
The researchers noted a variety of lifestyle factors, such as salt and alcohol consumption, as common culprits that increase blood pressure.
Nearly half of the U.S. population of adults have high blood pressure, with many unaware due to the lack of signs or symptoms.
Over time, high blood pressure increases the risk of both heart attack and stroke.