Monday, September 7, 2015

Taking a nap and reduce your blood pressure

Hypertension is one of the major cause of damaging your body in middle age. Along with hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and abdominal obesity, it is well known as an element of metabolic syndrome that is long lasting pathological condition resulting in a fatal outcome.

There are many ways to control your blood pressure. Medication and dieting are both useful. But the medication has some adverse effects, and it is not easy to change your diet style.

Recently, an interesting result of a study was presented at the European Society of Cardiology annual conference in London. Thus, a midday nap seems to reduce your blood pressure continuously.

The Independent: A nap a day could save your life

In this study, hundreds of people were examined about their lifestyle and medical condition. After adjusting for several factor potentially influencing blood pressure such as age, gender, obesity level, smoking, alcohol, salt and coffee intake, and habit of exercise, participants who take a nap in the midday had 5% reduced blood pressure, not only in the noon but also at night, compared to those without nap.

European Society of Cardiology: Midday naps associated with reduced blood pressure and fewer medications

The researchers think that the difference of 5mmHg between the both group is crucial because it deserves the reduced risk for the cardiac event by more than 10%. It seemed that one hour nap had the greatest effect to decrease blood pressure.

This study is cross-sectional, so it has not been proven whether a nap truly brings you lowered blood pressure. It is possible that people with low blood pressure like to sleep. In a theoretical thinking, I believe the hypothesis of the researchers, nonetheless.

It seems that siesta is beneficial to your life. If medication against hypertension is avoided to some extent in middle-aged people, the cost of general health care can be considerably reduced.

Then, should we consider to introduce a siesta, which has already been withdrawn in many regions because of the limited productivity in south Europe? Unfortunately, I do not think so.

There are several ways to control your blood pressure other than a nap. A meta-analysis shows that meditation is also beneficial in controlling the blood pressure, not to mention dieting and exercise. I guess the government is willing to introduce meditation rather than a nap to promote the health. If you already have a habit of a nap, I recommend you to keep it.

Pubmed: Investigating the effect of transcendental meditation on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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