Mindful Monday | Can an afternoon nap lower blood pressure?

A study from Greece suggests that a midday nap may help not only increase energy levels but can lower blood pressure as well.

Napping can help boost energy levels during a slump but may have other positive health outcomes. A study conducted at the Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula, Greece, reported that midday naps help lower blood pressure.

Taking a “cat nap” can increase energy levels and lower blood pressure.

“Midday sleep appears to lower blood pressure levels at the same magnitude as other lifestyle changes. For example, salt and alcohol reduction can bring blood pressure levels down by 3 to 5 [millimeters of mercury (mmHg)],” reports Dr. Kallistratos.  

The study analyzed data from 212 participants with an average blood pressure 129.9 mm Hg. The group was split into half, one group who took mid-day naps and the other who did not. The researchers measured their blood pressure with monitoring devices.

The researchers also took into account other factors that may affect blood pressure such as stress, alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle choices.

“The researchers found that people who took a daytime nap saw a 5.3 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure, which, the researchers explain, is about as much as someone could expect when taking blood pressure medication or making certain lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure.”

This study is particularly important in helping reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event. If those with high blood pressure have the luxury of taking a nap, this can help with maintaining lower blood pressure and has no cost.

This is the first time the benefits of midday napping has been researched. The scientists believe this information can be valuable and worth continued study.

“Even though both groups [of participants] were receiving the same number of medications and blood pressure was well controlled, there was still a significant decrease in blood pressure among those who slept during midday.”

To learn more: Napping may be as good as drugs on lowering blood pressure – Medical News Today


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