Napping may be as good as drugs for lowering blood pressure

A midday nap may be just what you need, not just to boost your energy levels but also to lower high blood pressure. This, at least, is what new research from Greece suggests.
older woman taking a nap on the sofa

Napping could effectively help lower your blood pressure, new findings reveal.

When the afternoon slump hits in the middle of a busy workday, many of us may feel tempted to catch some shut-eye in a quiet corner.

Daytime napping can definitely help boost our energy levels and productivity for the rest of the workday, but does it bring any other health benefits?

A new study that investigators from the Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula, Greece conducted now suggests that taking a nap at midday can effectively help people lower their blood pressure levels.

One of the study researchers, Dr. Manolis Kallistratos, is due to present the findings at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session in New Orleans, LA next Monday.

“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 [millimeters of mercury (mmHg)],” reports Dr. Kallistratos.

In this study, the investigators worked with 212 participants who had a mean blood pressure of 129.9 mm Hg. According to guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a person has high blood pressure if their readings of systolic blood pressure (pressure during a heartbeat) are 140 mm Hg or higher, and their readings of diastolic blood pressure (pressure between heartbeats) are 90 mm Hg or higher.

The participants were, on average, 62 years old, and close to one in four of them smoked, had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, or both