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Daytime napping increases our risk for hypertension. Is there a difference between day and nighttime

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Studies have demonstrated that napping can reduce fatigue, improve cognitive performance and alertness. Napping is also a widespread practice throughout the world. However, the risk that napping has for developing hypertension has not been explored [1].

What effect does napping (30-60 minutes) have on hypertension?

Daytime napping increases the risk of hypertension

  • Daytime napping increases our risk of hypertension by 17% when compared to those who do not nap during the day [1]

  • It is believed the release of specific hormones during the wake-up period following daytime napping elevates blood pressure and subsequently increases the risk of hypertension [1]

  • In addition, napping can affect the overall duration of total sleep. Since the amount of sleep we get can significantly affect our risk of heart disease, this is another possible explanation for the elevated risk [1]

Night-time napping reduces the risk of hypertension

  • Night-time napping (such as that performed by shift workers) showed a 21% reduction in hypertension risk [1]

  • The mechanism behind this is unknown but was reported within a study included in this systematic review and meta-analysis [1]

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[1] Cheungpasitporn W, Thongprayoon C, Srivali N, Vijayvargiya P, Andersen CA, Kittanamongkolchai W, et al. The effects of napping on the risk of hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine. 2016;9(4):205-12.


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