Midday Naps and BP Lowering
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 03:20 PM

In middle-aged patients with well-controlled hypertension, those who took a long midday nap appeared to have better blood-pressure control that their peers a new study reports. Specifically, patients who slept 60 minutes, typically after a midday meal, had an average 24-hour blood-pressure reading that was 4 mm Hg lower, and while they slept at night, they had a 2% greater dip in blood pressure. Moreover, they tended to use fewer blood-pressure medications.

Midday sleep was associated with a 6-mm-Hg lower average systolic blood pressure. "Six mm Hg is a small amount, but we have to keep in mind that reductions of 2 mm Hg may decrease the risk of cardiovascular events by up to 10%."

"The benefit seems to continue after the midday nap, because we observed a change in blood pressure at night and a change in dipping status,” the author emphasized. "My feeling is this is due to the decrease in sympathetic 'overdriving,' " he said.

It is possible that the findings would be different in patients with uncontrolled hypertension. "We will continue the study including patients with untreated, uncontrolled hypertension and healthy subjects" to see if the blood-pressure decrease is the same, the authors reported.

Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/850255