Don’t sleep on your poor health.
Those who nap more on average have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure and stroke, according to a new analysis published Monday in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.
Having hypertension puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the US, according to the CDC.
Geriatric researchers at Central South University in Hunan, China, looked at the sleep habits and medical histories of some 360,000 people in the UK, courtesy of the UK Biobank patient survey database, and found that participants who took naps on most days saw a 24% increase in their likelihood of stroke, and were 12% more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension over time.
The nap factor was even more worrisome in those age 60 and under, as napping most days led to a 20% higher chance of developing high blood pressure.
Their findings were consistent even after accounting for patients with pre-existing high-risk factors for developing hypertension, such as Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep disorders and working overnight shifts.
The study also highlights a correlation between regular napping and smoking cigarettes, daily alcohol consumption, snoring, insomnia and people who claim to be night owls.