Sleeping in the afternoons or taking a nap after lunch helps reduce blood pressure and beneficial to keep cardiovascular diseases under control, said a new study by Greek scientists.
In a paper presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in London, the new data supported afternoon naps for people to control blood pressure and live a healthy life.
Dr Manolis Kallistratos, lead researcher from Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, where the study was conducted, said: “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.”
“Midday naps seem to lower blood pressure levels and may probably also decrease the number of required anti-hypertensive medications,” he stressed. The study was conducted on 386 participants aged around 61, on average.
“Our study shows that not only is midday sleep associated with lower blood pressure, but longer sleeps are even more beneficial,” he said.
However, nap ranging from 15 to 20 minutes is good but not longer ones, as blood pressure rises when we awake and that more cardiac deaths occur in the mornings after waking up and the same reason may apply to those who sleep for hours and then get up, putting more pressure on the heart.
Otherwise, napping boosts clarity and decreases the chances of injury and it can cut down on fatigue because of sleep-related sickness and sluggishness.
Past studies show that regular breaks from tasks are beneficial and that naps help people process and record information. so, next time an employee chooses to spend that downtime with eyes closed and feet up, it should not be punished but supported.
On the flipside of it, research has also shown that afternoon nap is associated with a significantly enhanced risk of developing diabetes. Such studies also suggested that the need for noon time power nap is a sign of sleep disturbance, which in turn increases diabetes risk.
Daniel McNally, director of the sleep disorders center at the University of Connecticut, said naps could be helpful for bleary-eyed workers but regular practice could be counterproductive, if taken at the wrong time of the day disturbing the sleep schedule of the body.
The New Scientist once published a research that showed that kids who take afternoon naps stay up late in the night and their performance in solving puzzles was worse.