Afternoon Naps Are Good For Our Health According To Science

While some people brand afternoon naps as lazy, they've actually been proven to be good for our health.

In fact, having a nap is said to be as effective as drugs when it comes to lowering blood pressure and we've never needed a better reason to sleep.

According to new research, an hour's sleep at midday reduces blood pressure by an average of five points which is similar to the effects of taking drugs or cutting salt from your diet.

Researchers claim the daytime snooze could also majorly reduce our chances of having a heart attack.

This comes after Greek doctors at Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula followed 212 people with an average systolic blood pressure of 130mm/HG, which is considered to be verging on being unhealthy.

Credit: Pexels
Credit: Pexels

The experts' findings are due to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's annual conference in New Orleans later this month, as it reveals people who enjoyed a daily nap saw their blood pressure reduce by 5mm/HG.

Researcher Dr Manolis Kallistratos said: "Midday sleep appears to lower blood pressure levels at the same magnitude as other lifestyle changes.

"For example, salt and alcohol reduction can bring blood pressure levels down by 3 to 5 mm/Hg.

"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 per cent.

Credit: Pexels
Credit: Pexels

"Based on our findings, if someone has the luxury to take a nap during the day, it may also have benefits for high blood pressure.

"Napping can be easily adopted and typically doesn't cost anything. The higher the blood pressure levels, the more pronounced any effort to lower it will appear.

"By including people with relatively well-controlled blood pressure, we can feel more confident that any significant differences in blood pressure readings are likely due to napping."

He added: "We obviously don't want to encourage people to sleep for hours on end during the day, but on the other hand, they shouldn't feel guilty if they can take a short nap, given the potential health benefits.

"Even though both groups were receiving the same number of medications and blood pressure was well controlled, there was still a significant decrease in blood pressure among those who slept during midday."

Petition to get nap rooms installed in every workplace?

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Junior Journalist at PRETTY52. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the team in 2017. Contact her on emma.rosemurgey@pretty52.com

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