Hammock_nap_on_patio CC Michael Nutt

Stressed out about high blood pressure?

No big deal, just sleep it off.

A new study says afternoon naps can lower blood pressure, reduce the chance of a stroke or heart attack, and decrease the number of drugs people have to take to control hypertension.

The researchers also noticed the longer you snooze, the better the effects are.contemplation-view-sunset-old-couple-CC- dominique_cappronnier

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Dr Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist at Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, Greece, led the research team that looked at 200 men and 186 women with arterial hypertension.

The subjects were evaluated based on how many minutes they slept in the middle of the day along with a host of other medical and lifestyle conditions as they relate to high blood pressure.

The results found that patients who took naps had an average blood pressure, over a 24-hour period, that was 5% lower than those who didn’t. That may not sound like much, but the doctors measured less stress on the hearts of patients as a result.cancer-cells-cervical-Flickr-cc-fotosinteresantes

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“Midday sleepers had greater dips in blood pressure while sleeping at night which (also) is associated with better health outcomes,” Dr. Kallistratos said.

He presented his study this week at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in London, UK.

(READ more at United Press International)  Photo by Michael Nutt, CC

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