We’ve often heard that a nap in the middle of the day has its health benefits (not to mention improving your mood), but it turns out that getting forty winks after lunch could be an actual lifesaver.
According to new research presented to the European Society of Cardiology annual conference in London, a midday nap is “associated with reduced blood pressure” and could even reduce the risk of a heart attack. No wonder they live so long in Spain!
The study analysed the effect of naps on blood pressure levels in 386 patients who had an average age of 61.4 years.
The research even found a link between the length of the naps and blood pressure, with those who slept for an hour (which is the recommended nap time, after all) having the healthiest blood pressure results.
Research author Dr Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist at Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, said:
Midday sleep is a habit that nowadays is almost a privilege due to a nine to five working culture and intense daily routine. Our study shows that not only is midday sleep associated with lower blood pressure, but longer sleeps are even more beneficial.
We found that midday sleep is associated with lower 24 hour blood pressure, an enhanced fall of blood pressure at night and less damage to the arteries and the heart. The longer the midday sleep, the lower the systolic blood pressure levels and probably fewer drugs [are] needed to lower blood pressure.
So, there you go – a nap a day keeps the doctor away. We reckon it’s now high time that offices across the world started implementing designated nap hours during the day!