US Pharm. 2007;32(12):93. 

For most people, taking a daytime nap can revive a sagging energy level, but for some it may actually help to lower their blood pressure. According to a report in The Journal of Applied Physiology, investigators at Liverpool John Moores University in the U.K. assessed the blood pressure, heart rate, and blood vessel dilation of nine health volunteers with an average age of 34 years. Each study participant spent an hour standing quietly, reclining at rest but not sleeping, or reclining to nap. All of the volunteers were restricted to four hours of sleep on the night prior to each of the sleep laboratory tests.

During the three phases of daytime sleep, the researchers noted significant reductions in blood pressure and heart rate. The other two groups did not show any changes in their cardiovascular functions. The researchers reported that during the ten minute nap, the subjects' blood pressure decreased on average by more than 9%.

To comment on this article, contact