- As per a study, frequent naps can be an indicator of developing high blood pressure and stroke.
- The study took place from 2006 to 2019, and researchers looked at data from over 5 lakh adults ages 40 to 60.
According to a study published in Hypertension (PDF) and an American Heart Association (AHA) journal, although naps confer proven health benefits, napping often is associated with a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and stroke.
Researchers studied data from more than 500,000 adults ages 40 to 60 from the U.K. Biobank, an extensive biomedical database and research resource of anonymized genetic, lifestyle, and health information for the study. Study participants regularly provided urine, blood, and saliva samples and detailed info about their lifestyle, including how frequently they partook in daytime napping. The study started in 2006 and ended in 2019.
Participants were categorized into groups based on self-reported napping frequency, i.e., never/rarely, sometimes, or usually.
Compared with people who never napped, usual daytime napping was associated with a 12 percent higher risk of developing high blood pressure and a 24 percent higher risk of stroke than those who never napped.
In a press release, the corresponding author of the study, Ph.D., M.D., a professor and chair of the department of anesthesiology at Xiangya Hospital Central South University in Changsha, China, E Wang, said that these results are exciting since millions of people might enjoy a regular or even daily nap.
The results showed that if napping frequency increased, the risk of high blood pressure increased by 40 percent. For instance, if a person moved from the “never/ rarely” category to the “sometimes” category, the risk of high blood pressure increased.
The research study found that a higher percentage of people in the regularly napping group had lower education and income levels, consumed alcohol daily, smoked cigarettes, had insomnia, snored, or claimed to be an ‘evening person.’
These factors can affect the quality and duration of a person’s sleep at night, affecting health. Hence, AHA recently added “sleep duration” as one of its metrics for optimal heart health.
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