Do you take a lot of naps? This Study Says You’re More Likely to Have High Blood Pressure and Stroke

People who nap frequently are more likely to develop high blood pressure and have a stroke, a new study finds.

“This can happen because, although taking a nap is not harmful, many people do it for lack of rest. Poor sleep at night is associated with poor health and naps are not the most effective solution,” said said Michael Grandner, a clinical psychologist, in a statement. Grandner is the director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic at Banner-University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, and was not involved in the current study.

Study participants who slept normally during the day were 12% more likely to develop high blood pressure and 24% more likely to have a stroke compared to subjects who never took a nap.

If you were under 60, taking a nap almost every day increased your risk of developing high blood pressure by 20% compared to people who never or rarely took a nap, according to the study published Monday in Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association (AHA). . The AHA recently added sleep duration to one of its eight essential measures for improving heart and brain health.

The findings held true even after researchers excluded people at high risk for hypertension, such as people with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep disturbances, and people who worked. by night.

“The results demonstrate that napping increases the incidence of hypertension and stroke, even after adjusting for or controlling for many other variables associated with cardiovascular disease and stroke risk,” said Phyllis Zee. , director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern. Feinberg University School of Medicine in Chicago.

“From a clinical perspective, I think this underscores the importance for healthcare professionals to regularly ask patients if they are napping, if they have excessive daytime sleepiness, and to assess other conditions in order to control the risk of cardiovascular disease,” Zee said. , who did not participate in the study.

The longest naps are the worst

The study used data from 360,000 participants who provided information about their napping habits to the UK Biobank, a large biomedical database and research resource that tracked UK residents between 2006.
th 2010.

Blood, urine and saliva samples were taken periodically from people who took part in the UK study, and they were asked four times over the four years to answer questions about napping. However, the study only collected data on their frequency, not their duration, and relied on self-reports, an error that conditioned the study.

“None of the answers defined a nap. If you sleep for an hour, two hours, for example, that’s not exactly a nap,” said sleep expert Raj Dasgupta, associate professor of clinical medicine at Keck. University of Southern California School of Medicine.

“A 15-20 minute revitalizing nap, between noon and 2 p.m., is 100 percent the right way to go if you’re feeling sleepy,” said Dasgupta, who wasn’t involved in the study. “If you suffer from chronic insomnia, we do not encourage you to take a nap because it takes away your desire to sleep at night.”

Most of the study participants who took regular naps smoked, drank alcohol daily, snored, suffered from insomnia and pretended to be the type of person who likes to stay up late.

Many of these factors can impact the quality and quantity of a person’s sleep, Dasgupta said. Lack of sleep causes “excessive daytime fatigue which can lead to excessive daytime naps,” he said.

“I believe that naps are a warning sign of an underlying sleep disorder in some individuals,” he added. “Lack of sleep is linked to increased stress and weight-regulating hormones that can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes…in other words, all of the risk factors for heart disease.”

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