New Study: Midday naps decrease risk of heart attacks - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New Study: Midday naps decrease risk of heart attacks

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

A nap a day may keep the doctor away. Recent research shows taking a midday siesta can help lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk for heart attacks.

Most people won’t turn down a nap if they get the chance to take one, but now it’s just what the doctor ordered.

“[I nap] usually once a day, about 30 minutes,” Mike Williams said.

“Probably three times a week for about an hour at least,” Terry Kirkman said.

These folks have the right idea about getting some shut-eye in the daytime.

“Before, I’m extremely tired. Afterward, I feel refreshed,” Kirkman said.

Taking a nap can not only make your day better, but recent research says it can also make you healthier.

“I feel better after it,” Williams said.

“Insufficient sleep can increase someone’s risk of serious medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, or hyper-tension,” Respiratory Therapist at Missouri Delta Medical Center Crystal Calhoun said.

Calhoun said she wasn’t surprised to learn new research, recently presented at the European Society of Cardiology Conference, found those who snoozed at noon had blood pressure measurements on average five percent lower than those who did not nap.

“Most people who are sleepy have an underlying medical condition that causes uncontrolled hyper-tension,” Calhoun said.

Doctors say even a small decrease in blood pressure can reduce the risk of heart problems by up to ten percent.

“Restore somebody’s mind and their body, make them feel awake, rested,” Calhoun said.

The study’s results also indicate patients who slept for 60 minutes had lower blood pressure than those who slept less than an hour. However, Calhoun said be careful not to nap too long.

“I wouldn’t go over an hour because then you can interfere with the quality of sleep at night,” Calhoun said.

Now, more than ever, avid nappers have some advice for the rest of us.

“If you can’t find time, maybe you need to take time,” Kirkman said.

“Make time,” Williams said.

Calhoun also said getting good sleep is essential for a person’s overall health. If you are sleepy all the time, you might have a medical condition. She suggests asking your doctor about it.

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