A new study has found that taking a nap has hidden health benefits. It helps bring down blood pressure levels and allows people with cardiovascular diseases to keep them under control.
A team of Greek researchers reached this conclusion after looking at 386 different subjects, with an average age of 61.
Dr. Manolis Kallistratos, lead author and field expert from the Asklepieion Voula General Hospital (Athens), gave a statement saying that “Although William Blake affirms that it’s better to think in the morning, act at noon, eat in the evening and sleep at night, noon sleep seems to have beneficial effects”.
He went on to add that the tests and experiments he and his colleagues conducted showed that “Midday naps seem to lower blood pressure levels and may probably also decrease the number of required anti-hypertensive medications”.
What’s more, the research proved that short midday naps aren’t the only sleep states linked to lower blood pressure levels. It turns out that longer sleeps have even higher health benefits.
But when it comes to naps in particular, there’s a bit of a catch. Dr. Kallistratos and his colleagues inform that naps ranging from 15 to 20 minutes are the only ones that are good for your health.
Naps that last longer than that can actually be bad for your health as blood pressure rises when we wake up. Previous studies and surveys have found that more cardiac related deaths take place in the morning than in any other moment of the day. People who take long naps get into a sleep state that’s more closely related to night sleep, and thus put more pressure on their hearts.
A previous study conducted by Cambridge researchers concluded that individuals who take naps longer than one (1) hour are 32 percent (32%) more likely to die after waking up, and naps that are even longer than that have been linked to respiratory disease.
Short naps, however, have been shown to boost clarity, decrease the chance of accidental injury, and reduce the effects of fatigue, sluggishness and sleep-related sickness.
Experts have long said that sleeping helps the human brain process information, and the team of Greek researchers says that naps have the same effect.
But having said all of this, some people are simply more likely to take naps than others. While some bodies would have trouble falling asleep in the afternoon even if they tried, others are actually programmed to take midday catnaps.
Statistically speaking, about 40 percent (40%) of United States residents start to get sleepy halfway through the day. And psychology experts warn that if they ignore their body’s need for rest and decide to skip their nap, their productivity will suffer tremendously.
On the other hand, if your not one of the 40 percent (40%) who normally feel sleepy in the afternoon, but suddenly find yourself feeling lethargic during that time of the day, you may to go see a doctor as you may be developing a health issue.
Daniel McNally, sleep disorders director from the University of Connecticut, gave a statement of his own explaining that short naps may help bleary-eyed workers get a shot of energy, but he also warns people that regularly doing so could be counterproductive if it ends up disturbing the body’s normal sleep schedule.
The findings were presented recently, at the London conference of the European Society of Cardiology.
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