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Here's how napping can improve your heart health

by , 02 September 2015

Do you enjoy midday naps? Well, then, you'll be glad to know they might be beneficial for your heart! This goes according to new research published this week in a news release by the European Society of Cardiology.

The investigators looked at how an hour-long siesta at noon affected blood pressure among nearly 40 middle-aged people with high blood pressure. The result? Those who napped saw their systolic blood pressure reading (the top number of your blood pressure ratio) drop an average of 5% over the course of the day compared to those who didn't nap.

Keep reading to learn how napping might contribute to healthier blood pressure readings…

Is the blood pressure decrease from napping significant?

Researchers say yes. While it may seem low, it must be mentioned that reductions as small as 3 mmHg in systolic blood pressure can reduce the risk of heart problems by up to 10%.
 
The finding appeared to hold up even after accounting for a variety of factors that can affect blood pressure. For example: A history of smoking, eating lots of salt, drinking lots of coffee and alcohol, minimal exercise, and so on.

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Other heart benefits related to napping

Researchers also linked napping to a reduction in the size of the left atrium of the heart, as well as a more than 10% drop in the so-called pulse wave velocity levels. Pulse wave velocity measures artery stiffness.
 
Researchers say these findings suggest that midday sleepers have less damage from high blood pressure in their heart and arteries.

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So can midday napping curb heart disease?
Well, not exactly, the team said. But the correlation certainly suggests that it may help. And, longer sleeps are even more beneficial, researchers noted.

Editor’s note: Interested in learning more about how to keep your heart healthy? Our researchers at the Natural Health Dossier have got you covered! Go here and join today - it'll only take two minutes.

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