Want to keep your heart healthy? Finally! We’ve been looking for a valid reason to justify the afternoon nap and now we have it. This is especially helpful for the Over 50 population.
Researchers at the European Society of Cardiology conference in London stated that that an hour or more nap has important health benefits. It can cut blood pressure and lower the chance of a heart attack or stroke. It also contributes to people taking fewer blood pressure medications. What a great way to keep your heart healthy!
Lead researcher, Dr Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist at Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, Greece, said, “Two influential UK prime ministers were supporters of the midday nap. Winston Churchill said that we must sleep some time between lunch and dinner while Margaret Thatcher didn’t want to be disturbed around 3pm. According to our study, they were right because midday naps seem to lower blood pressure levels. They may also probably decrease the number of required anti-hypertensive medications.”
He added: “Μidday sleep is a habit that nowadays is almost a privileged due to a nine to five working culture and intense daily routine. However the real question regarding this habit is: is it only a custom or is it also beneficial?”
The findings of the study suggest that midday sleepers have less damage from high blood pressure in their arteries and heart,” according to Dr Kallistratos.
The study showed that midday sleep is associated with lower blood pressure. It also found that longer ‘sleeps’ are even more beneficial. It’s interesting that the midday sleepers had greater dips in blood pressure while sleeping at night. This is associated with better health outcomes.
Patients who slept during the midday were under fewer anti-hypertension medications compared to those who didn’t have their midday nap.
The conclusion was that the midday nap is associated with lower 24 hour blood pressure as well as a fall of BP at night. This results in less damage to the arteries and the heart.
The longer the midday nap, the lower the systolic BP levels and probably fewer drugs needed to lower BP.”
Of course, there is balance in all things. You should still make daily exercise and healthy eating a priority. But, it’s nice to know we can reward ourselves with some rest on a daily basis!
So, if you can, make naps a priority in your daily schedule, and if you really need an excuse, tell people you are doing it for your health!