Do you ever feel guilty about dozing off for a midday nap? If you do, you shouldn’t. That nap could be lowering your risk for a heart attack.
New research from the American College of Cardiology suggests a daily nap could lower blood pressure as much as consuming less salt and alcohol. In fact, daily blood pressure medication works only marginally better.
Some midday shut eye was associated with an average drop of 5 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) in blood pressure. This is about the same as other natural interventions, which usually lower pressure from 3-5 mm Hg. Medications typically tend to lower blood pressure by 5-7 mm Hg. Further, each 60-minutes’ worth of midday sleep was noted to lower systolic blood pressure by 3 mm Hg over a 24-hour period.
Manolis Kallistratos, MD, one of the study’s lead authors said: “These findings are important because a drop in blood pressure as small as 2 mm Hg can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack by up to 10 percent.” He suggests that if somebody has the luxury to nap during the day, they should definitely seize the opportunity to reduce blood pressure.
The study also noted that anyone could benefit from daily napping, even if they already have healthy blood pressure. Kallistratos said that in people with higher blood pressure, however, the effects of napping were more pronounced.
If you can find the time to settle down for a nap each day, it could do more for you than just recharge your body and mind. A daily nap could help reduce blood pressure and lower your risk for a heart attack as well as other preventative medicine. Further, it could be added to your heart healthy toolbox along with diet and exercise to perhaps produce a more pronounced effect.