Health and Fitness

Apparently, More Naps Lead to High Blood Pressure and Stroke, Says This Study

The longer the nap, the worse it is.
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We all indulge in a good power nap from time to time, but too much of it can be a bad thing, so we've come to learn. A new study in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal, now finds that those who take more naps have bigger chances of developing high blood pressure and having a stroke.

“These results are especially interesting since millions of people might enjoy a regular, or even daily nap,” stated Department of Anesthesiology at Xiangya Hospital Central South University Chair Dr. E. Wang, who is the study's corresponding author

Roughly 360,000 participants were included in the study. These people were free of hypertension or stroke, based on UK Biobank data, which sources information from United Kingdom residents from 2006 to 2010.

The study, however, didn't account for the duration of the naps. It focused mainly on frequency. Individuals were asked to self-report if they took naps “never/rarely,” “sometimes,” or “usually.”

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This study reports that those who usually napped during the day were 12 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure in their lifetime. They were also 24 percent more likely to have a stroke, as compared to those who rarely did.

Participants below the age of 60 who napped most days were also 20 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure. Those who were older than 60 had demonstrated a link between between naps and a ten-percent higher risk of developing blood pressure.

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Results also showed that once napping frequency increased by one category (from "never/rarely" to "usually"), high blood pressure risk increased by 40 percent, too.

The research also made it a point to exclude those who have a high risk for hypertension. These were individuals who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and sleep disorders, among others. Those who worked the night shift were excluded from the study, as well. Most of the participants were men, smoked cigarettes, and considered themselves "evening people."

Clinical Psychologist Michael Grandner, who directs the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic at the Banner-University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, explained in a statement: "This may be because, although taking a nap itself is not harmful, many people who take naps may do so because of poor sleep at night. Poor sleep at night is associated with poorer health, and naps are not enough to make up for that."

Conducted by researchers from Xiangya Hospital Central South University, this also happens to be the first study to use both observational analysis Mendelian randomization, which is a form of genetic risk validation.

So yeah, nap in moderation, folks.

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