Do you want to stay healthy? Its time you gave some importance to your afternoon naps. Grown-ups need to snatch an hour-long nap at noon daily for optimum health. A mid-day nap has the potential to ward off heart attacks and give protection against strokes because timely rest keeps the blood pressure regulated, finds a novel Greek study.
Dr Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist at Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, who led the study stated, “Two influential British Prime Ministers were supporters of the midday nap. Winston Churchill said that we must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner while Margaret Thatcher didn’t want to be disturbed at around 3pm. According to our study, they were right because midday naps seem to lower blood pressure levels. Midday sleepers had greater dips in blood pressure while sleeping at night, which is associated with better health outcomes”.
Researchers carried out their study on a sample of about 400 people, average age 61 suffering from blood pressure. The subjects were marked for their salt intake, coffee consumption, alcohol, smoking and Body Mass Index. It was noted that people who slept for an hour during the day exhibited a tremendous improvement in health conditions as opposed to those who worked the whole day without a snooze.
The study found the more people slept the better was their health condition. They needed lesser medications and displayed a reduction in blood pressure which in turn eased their heart condition.
Reserachers observed that the systolic blood pressure tracked over 24 hours showed a fall of 5% in the people who had an afternoon nap compared to those who were up the whole day. The afternoon siesta also decreased their chances of a stroke and heart attack. Moreover, a short nap of 30-40 minutes resulted in sharper skills and a happier state of mind.
Dr Manolis Kallistratos claims “Although the poet William Blake affirms that it is better to think in the morning, act at noon, eat in the evening and sleep at night, noon sleep seems to have beneficial effects.”
It’s a sad thing that the present hectic lifestyle does not permit people to snatch a few minutes of snooze time every day! Given that a nap can save you from an heart attack, go ahead and take a small shut-eye every afternoon!
The new research was presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in London.