How Your Napping Habits May Affect Your Blood Pressure


In today’s age, many of the health issues of the past are no longer a threat because of the advancements in the health industry. Many may call this an achievement while others point out how the old challenges have been replaced with new ones. Both of the statements are true.

While health professionals no longer consider conditions such as plague or tuberculosis untreatable, they agree on the emergence of recent issues. One of these is problems related to blood pressure which are currently a part of the most widespread global plights.

Blood pressure issues, particularly hypertension or high blood pressure, are becoming increasingly common in the general population. Previously, they were seen to be typically an age-related issue mostly diagnosed in older adults.

However, many of the young adults and even teenagers and children have hypertension. This is due to a variety of factors including changes in the Standard American Diets as well as the prevalence of mental health issues such as anxiety.

Consequently, there is an increase in research on techniques to control hypertension. Recently, a new study looks at the connection between the afternoon napping and how it affects the blood pressure of a person.

It concludes that napping habits may actually play a fundamental role in controlling hypertension. In fact, its main conclusion is that afternoon slumbers may be as effective as prescribed medication for high blood pressure.

How Was the Research Conducted?

The new research, whose findings will be presented at American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session later in March, was held by Manolis Kallistratos and colleagues. It concludes that people who took regular afternoon naps had a lower blood pressure than the people who did not.

Read more on the study here. 

Precisely, the main focus of the study was on how napping habits may be used as a preventive measure for controlling hypertension.

High blood pressure affects over half of the American population. In addition, it is one of the main symptoms of serious health issues such as stroke and heart attack both of which are the top killers worldwide.

To know more on the connection between napping and blood pressure, the team of researchers looked at data of a group comprising of 212 people with the average age of 60. These participants also had systolic blood pressure averaging around 130 mm Hg.

The blood pressure readings of the people who took afternoon naps were then compared with people who did not. Also, other factors were also taken into consideration such as medication, caffeine and caffeine intake, gender, diet and physical activity.

What Were the Results?

After looking at all factors, looking at readings, and drawing comparisons, the team found that people who took afternoon naps had  a systolic blood pressure that was 5mm/Hg lower than those who did not. Furthermore, the researchers also stated that the effects of napping resembled those of low-dose hypertension medication.

The author Kallistratos comments on these findings, saying:

“These findings are important because a fall in blood pressure as small as 2 mm Hg can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack, by up to 10 percent.”

Additionally, napping can be one of the easiest preventive methods as it does not come with a cost or a lot of effort. However, at the same time, the researchers also agree that taking naps should be one of the methods, not the only.

While trying to live healthy and staying away from dangerous health conditions, it is also important to switch to a healthier lifestyle by maintaining a healthy diet, controlling alcohol and caffeine intake, and getting enough exercise on a regular basis. Without these, health issues cannot be prevented effectively.


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Hilary Jensen

Hilary is a Literature graduate with expertise in Creative Writing. Her writing interests are mental health, ethics, and news reporting. You will find her work associated with relevant research and references that shows her passion for delivering authentic information to readers.


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