When afternoon slump hits in the middle of a hectic workday, we want to catch some shut-eye for a while. A midday nap is just what we all need to boost our energy levels. This daytime napping also helps in increasing our productivity levels for the rest of the workday. However, researchers are trying to find out if it adds any other health benefits apart from energizing. New research suggests that taking a midday nap can effectively help people in lowering their blood pressure (BP) levels.
A researcher, Dr. Kallistratos explains that midday sleep has the same potential in lowering blood pressure like other lifestyle changes. He further reports that lifestyle changes such as alcohol reduction bring down BP levels by 3 to 5 mmHg. According to guidelines, a person has high BP if his/her systolic and diastolic BP readings appear as 140mmHg-90mmHg or higher. For finding afternoon naps’ effectiveness, researchers conducted an experiment with 212 participants, who had an average BP of 129.9 mmHg. They split the participants into two groups – one with who practiced daytime nap and others did not follow this practice.
Significant Decrease in Blood Pressure among People who Slept during Midday
Researchers noted down the participants’ midday naps’ duration, BP measurements, general lifestyle choices, and pulse rate velocity over 24 hours. They also adjusted various potential confounding factors which could affect BP measurements during this experiment. The result was indeed shocking when they found that people having with daytime naps dropped their systolic BP readings by 5.3mmHg. There was rapid downdrift of Systolic BP by 3 mmHg among people who took an additional 60 minutes of napping.
Dr. Kallistratos explains that afternoon napping works similarly as drugs, where specialized drug lowers BP level by 5-7mmHg on average. The study is first-of-its-kind to explain how daytime naps impact on one’s health and add benefits for individuals with high BP.