If your boss allowed you to take a midday nap, would you? It seems that a quick shut-eye in the middle of the day isn’t just beneficial for those under 5.
New research suggests that a daily siesta could help reduce blood pressure and stave off heart attacks.
The study from the European Society of Cardiology included 386 men and women with the average age of 61, all of which suffered from high blood pressure. The participants’ BP were monitored while sitting and walking, and other factors including how long they slept during the day, lifestyle habits and their body mass index (BMI) were reviewed.
And just as we had hoped, the midday sleepers who were able to nap for up to an hour had 5 per cent lower average blood pressure than the non-nappers. This small difference was enough to have a significant impact on rates of heart attack, researchers said.
“Although the mean BP decrease seems low, it has to be mentioned that reductions as small as 2 mmHg in systolic blood pressure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by up to 10 per cent,” said cardiologist Dr Kallistratos.
“Our study shows that not only is midday sleep associated with lower blood pressure, but longer sleeps are even more beneficial. Midday sleepers had greater dips in blood pressure while sleeping at night which is associated with better health outcomes. We also found that hypertensive patients who slept at noon were under fewer antihypertensive medications compared to those who didn’t sleep midday.”
While this research is great, a midday snooze can also be an excellent way to replenish your energy, prevents burnouts and can keep you on-track to avoid the afternoon slump. So while most of us in a nine to five working culture won’t have the luxury of getting in some ZZZ’s, perhaps it’s time to open it for discussion.