At least 8 hours of sleep is considered essential for a healthy and fit life. A good night’s sleep is very important and the benefits of sleep cannot be underestimated. Even during the day when you feel tired, a short nap can re-energize you. But did you know that frequent naps can also be a sign of high blood pressure and stroke! Let’s find out what the research says about this.
What does this new research say?
According to a study published in Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association, people who sleep frequently are 12% more likely to have high blood pressure. While the risk of stroke in them is 24% higher.
The AHA said in a press release that researchers in China studied data from Biobank UK, a biomedical database containing genetic, lifestyle and health data from half a million people aged 40 to 69 living in the UK.
How was the study conducted?
“Poor sleep at night is associated with poor health, and not getting enough sleep,” said Michael Granner, MD, director of the Sleep Behavioral Medicine Clinic at Banner-University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.
The published report also noted that the majority of those who said they usually fasted were men with low education and low income, compared to those who never or rarely fasted. The group that drank regularly also smoked, drank alcohol daily, and snorted.
Patients with high blood pressure were excluded from the study
People who had a stroke or high blood pressure were excluded from the study, leaving about 360,000 participants. They provided blood, urine and saliva samples as well as information about their lifestyle.
They were asked about their sleep habits four times between 2006 and 2019 and reported their sleep frequency as “never/rarely”, “sometimes” or “usually”.
Last month, the AHA added getting enough sleep to its list of things people should do for cardiovascular health. Seven other lifestyle factors are nicotine exposure, physical activity, diet, weight, blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Phyllis Zee, MD is director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “The new study, he says, focuses on the importance of health care providers regularly asking patients to sleep and on excessive daytime sleepiness. It evaluates other conditions to modify the risk of cardiovascular disease.”