Washington DC: It's time to start taking midday naps as a new study has revealed that it can lower blood pressure levels and decrease the number of required anti-hypertensive medications.
The study included 386 middle aged patients with arterial hypertension. The following measurements were performed in all patients: midday sleep time, office BP, 24 hour ambulatory BP, pulse wave velocity, two lifestyle habits, body mass index (BMI) and a complete echo-cardiographic evaluation, including left atrial size.
The researchers found that midday sleepers had five percent lower average 24 hour ambulatory systolic BP compared to patients who did not sleep at all midday.
Their average systolic BP readings were four percent lower when they were awake (5 mmHg) and six percent lower while they slept at night (7 mmHg) than non-midday sleepers.
Manolis Kallistratos of the Asklepieion Voula General Hospital said that reductions as small as 2 mmHg in systolic blood pressure could reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by up to ten percent.
He added that their study showed that not only was midday sleep associated with lower blood pressure, but longer sleeps were even more beneficial.
Kallistratos concluded that midday sleep was associated with lower 24 hour blood pressure, an enhanced fall of BP in night, and less damage to the arteries and the heart.