Napping on a regular basis is associated with higher risks for high blood pressure and stroke, according to new research by Chinese scientists published on Monday (25 July) in Hypertension, the journal of American Heart Association.
Researchers in China examined whether frequent naps could be a potential causal risk factor for high blood pressure and/or stroke.
This is the first study to use both observational analysis of participants over a long period of time and Mendelian randomisation – a genetic risk validation to investigate whether frequent napping was associated with high blood pressure and ischemic stroke.
"These results are especially interesting since millions of people might enjoy a regular, or even daily nap," said E Wang, a professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Xiangya Hospital Central South University, and the study's author.
Researchers used information from UK Biobank, a large biomedical database and research resource containing anonymized genetic, lifestyle and health information from half a million UK participants.
UK Biobank recruited more than 500,000 participants between the ages of 40 and 69 who lived in the United Kingdom between 2006 and 2010. They regularly provided blood, urine and saliva samples, as well as detailed information about their lifestyle. The daytime napping frequency survey occurred 4 times from 2006 – 2019 in a small proportion of UK Biobank participants.
"This study echoes other findings that generally show that taking more naps seems to reflect increased risk for problems with heart health and other issues." said Michael A Grandner, director of the Sleep Health Research Program and the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona in Tucson.