A midday nap reduces blood pressure
A midday nap boosts your energy level and productivity for the rest of the day. But, do you think a midday nap reduces your high blood pressure?
Interesting, right? Today we are going to talk about the amazing beneficial effects of napping on high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a dangerous condition that affects millions of people around the world. Globally, an estimated 26 percent of the world’s population (972 million people) has high blood pressure, and the prevalence is expected to increase to 30 percent by 2025. Source
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is a very common problem that increases the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and kidney failure.
In the USA alone, about 108 million adults have high blood pressure, that’s about one in every three adults.
High blood pressure was a predominant cause of death for more than four lakhs seventy thousand Americans in 2019 alone. That’s more than 1,300 deaths each day and that figure has been rising and rising.
For every ten people who are diagnosed with hypertension, a further seven remain undiagnosed and untreated.
This is because high blood pressure rarely causes symptoms in the early stages and remains a silent disease for a very long time.
The numerator (first number) called systolic blood pressure represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heartbeats and the denominator (second number) called the diastolic blood pressure represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between the beats.
Blood pressure is measured in a unit called millimeter of mercury (mm Hg)
Blood pressure less than 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal and blood pressure of more than 140/90 mm Hg is considered too high (hypertension).
Blood pressure levels higher than the normal range for a long time is a dangerous condition as it can damage vital organs of the body including the heart, kidney, and eye.
But the good news is that lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your numbers and lower your risk without requiring medications.
Now, most of you know that good habits like more exercise, a good diet, and less salt are the cornerstone habits to reduce blood pressure.
However, the latest research that investigators from the Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula, Greece conducted now shows that lifestyle changes, such as napping can decrease blood pressure significantly.
Midday naps lower blood pressure- The study shows that taking a short 20 to 40 minutes nap during the day helps in significantly reducing blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
Midday shut-eye appears to lower blood pressure levels at the same magnitude as the other lifestyle changes, said one of the study researchers, Dr. Manolis Kallistratos.
According to him other lifestyle changes like salt and alcohol reduction also brings blood pressure level down by 3 to 5 mm Hg, similar to that of a midday nap.
Taking a low blood pressure drug, for example, can lower your blood pressure level an average of five to seven mm Hg while a 40-minute nap if taken regularly can reduce overall blood pressure levels on average of 5 mm Hg, the other study said.
In this research, 212 people participated with an average age of 62 and systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg.
25% of these people also had type 2 diabetes or smoking as a risk factor.
Then the researchers divided the participants into two groups and asked half of the participants to take midday naps of about 30 to 50 minutes per day.
This went on for a couple of months and after that, the study groups were called in again for further examination.
The observations of the study showed that those who napped had an average systolic blood pressure lower than 5 mm Hg than those who didn’t nap.
The findings in the study are significant and promised to introduce a new lifestyle modification that can impact the lives of numerous people in a better way.
“We obviously don’t want to encourage people to sleep for hours on the end during the day but on the other hand they shouldn’t feel guilty if they can
take a short nap given the potential health benefits,” Calais Tatas said in an American College of Cardiology news release.
These findings are significant as a drop in blood pressure as small as 2 mm Hg can lower the risk of heart diseases by up to 10 percent.
In addition to midday naps, your blood pressure readings are determined by what you eat.
Reducing your salt intake, eating more fruit and vegetables, and keeping alcohol to a limit will lower your blood pressure.