A new study has revealed that taking short naps lowers blood pressure levels and helps people with cardiovascular disease manage their condition. But taking long naps has been linked to cardiac arrest and the development of type 2 diabetes.
On the positive front, Dr. Manolis Kallistratos, field expert over at Asklepieion Voula General Hospital (Athens) and lead author, offered a statement informing that “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”.
He then added that the experiments and tests he and his team conducted revealed that not only do midday naps appear to be lowering blood pressure levels, but they “may probably also decrease the number of required anti-hypertensive medications”.
But here’s the catch – they have to be short naps in order to be good for your health. Dr. Kallistratos and his team explained that only naps that last between 15 and 20 minutes have positive effects on the human body.
These naps have been proven to boost clarity, diminish the effects of fatigue, reduce sluggishness, prevent sleep-related sickness and diminish the possibility of accidental injury. And do you know how health experts always say that simply sleeping will do wonders for your ability to process information? Dr. Kallistratos and his team say that napping has the same effect on the human brain.
Now for the bad news. Naps that are longer than 20 minutes have very negative effects on the human body and may even lead to premature death. The research team informed that your blood pressure rises when you wake up after sleeping for more than an hour.
Previous surveys and studies back up the danger associated with this as they generally concluded that more cardiac deaths take place early in the morning, as opposed to any other moment of the day. When people take longer naps, they get into a sleeping state that’s not unlike night sleep, so they put greater pressure on their hearts.
Cambridge researchers previously published a study which revealed that people who take naps that last longer than an hour have a chance that’s 32 percent (32%) higher of dying after they wake up. And naps that last longer than that are believed to lead to the development of respiratory disease.
Oh yeah, and the new study has also linked midday naps to the development of type 2 diabetes, however the researchers were unable to give a reason why.
But it’s also important to note that people are different and that some need midday naps and are programmed by nature to take them, while other people have had trouble falling asleep during the day since they were young children.
Roughly 40 percent (40%) of US residents start feeling sleepy during the afternoon hours and it’s important that they listen to their bodies. Psychology experts warn that not doing so and skipping their nap, affects their productivity tremendously.
But if you’re not one of them and suddenly start getting lethargic halfway through your workday, you may want to consider seeing a doctor as this may be a symptom of some diagnosed health issue.
Daniel McNally, director of sleep disorders from the University of Connecticut, offered a statement of his own informing that short naps probably help bleary-eyed workers get through their day, but he also stressed that regularly napping in the afternoon could end up being counterproductive in the long run as it may disturb your body’s normal sleep schedule.
The study was first presented at this year’s European Society of Cardiology conference, in London.
Image Source: c2.staticflickr.com