Jun 18, 2019 | Updated: 05:32 PM EDT

Naps Can Save Your Life -- Research

Sep 01, 2015 09:22 PM EDT

Nap at work
(Photo : Reuters/Jason Lee) A man takes a nap next at work. New research suggests naps have many health benefits.

A new research has found that a nap at the mid-day doesn't just have the power to revive your energy, but it could also reduce blood pressure and protect from heart disease.

The research has involved around 400 middle-aged men and women and it found that those who use to have a nap at noon have lower blood pressure than those who use to just stay awake through the day.

The findings of the study were presented in London, at the European Society of Cardiology annual conference. The research paper suggests that people who use to take naps have lower pressure both when awake and later, during their night time sleep.

Even if the study has found just a small difference of around 5 per cent in blood pressure reading on those who take naps compared with those who don't, this difference was enough to significantly impact rates of heart attack, according to researchers.

The cardiologists said that far smaller reductions have been previously found to reduce the chance of cardiovascular events by up to 10 percent. According to the findings of this new research, longer naps of up to an hour provide the best results.

For the study, researchers from Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens have assessed 186 women and 200 men, with an average age of 61. All the participants in the study had high blood pressure. Some of the participants took regular naps while the others haven't.

According to Dr Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist from the hospital and lead researcher, it is recommended that our modern lifestyles would borrow some habits from the past. 

The cardiologist added that it is known from the history that two influential U.K. Prime Ministers were supporters of the midday nap. Margaret Thatcher asked to never be disturbed around 3:00 pm while Winston Churchill stated that people "must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner".

The heart expert explained that according to his research team's study these people were right. Midday naps seem to decrease the number of required anti-hypertensive medications due to their benefit to lower blood pressure levels. 

However, the cardiologist acknowledged the fact that with our modern lifestyle and busy work schedules it might be difficult for most working people to squeeze in a nap. Due to an intense daily routine and a nine to five working culture, the midday sleep habit has become almost a privilege nowadays.

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