A small nap at lunchtime not only makes you fit, it also protects your heart. If you take a nap, it lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress hormones faster. This also puts less stress on the heart.
Stress is not only bad for the psyche, it also stresses the heart. When the organism releases stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate rise sharply. As a result, the heart is also burdened in the long run enormously. This can be counteracted by inserting a small nap even in an acute stress phase.
That's the result of a US study. The scientists have found that with a 45-minute sleep after a stressful period, the blood pressure can return to normal faster. So far, this only applies to acute stress. Whether a nap can also help people with a permanently high blood pressure, has yet to be found in further studies, say study director Ryan Brindle and Sarah Conklin.
Sleep protects against stress
One reason that afternoon nap has a positive effect on the heart is due to our modern way of life. Working overtime, sitting in front of the computer or watching TV or worries and worries cause many people to go to sleep. On average, the German sleeps about 2 hours less a day than 50 years ago.
Older studies have already pointed to the negative consequences of lack of sleep. Hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure are common consequences of sleep deprivation. Add stress to the job and the stress on the heart increases again. The researchers now wanted to find out whether the blood pressure recovers faster after a short nap through a short nap.
To do so, they examined 85 healthy volunteers who interviewed them about their sleep habits prior to the study. Then they were divided into two groups. One group was allowed to sleep about 60 minutes at noon, the other had to stay awake. Then the subjects had to complete exercises that cause stress. At the same time, pulse and blood pressure were checked in all subjects.
45 minutes sleep for the heart
During the evaluation, the researchers found that blood pressure and heart rate increased significantly during stress exercises. If the test subjects were allowed to lie down briefly after the exercises, both values normalized significantly faster than in the control group. A midday nap of 45 to 60 minutes is enough to allow the blood pressure to recover faster after a stressful period.
Taking these results into account, the researchers now want to investigate further and find out whether a mid-day nap will generally have a positive effect on heart rate and blood pressure. Maybe a short nap at noon could also help people with high blood pressure.
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