The study involved 212 people. The average age was 62, and just more than half were women. One in four of those surveyed was a smoker and/or had Type 2 diabetes. Participants were fitted with ambulatory monitors to track blood pressure throughout the day rather than one reading at a clinic.
Overall, average 24-hour systolic blood pressure was 5.3 mm Hg lower among those who napped compared with those who didn’t.
“We obviously don't want to encourage people to sleep for hours on end during the day, but on the other hand, they shouldn’t feel guilty if they can take a short nap, given the potential health benefits,” Kallistratos said.
Further research is needed to validate these findings, but Kallistratos will present the research at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session March 18 in New Orleans.
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