AHA Journals reported study on napping may be misleading

AHA Journals

CNN's recently reported a story titled ‘Napping regularly linked to high blood pressure and stroke, study finds' may be misleading.

AHA JournalsThe researchers, Min-jing Yang, Zhong Zhang, Yi-jing Wang, Jin-chen Li, Qu-lian Guo, Xiang Chen, and E. Wang. are claiming a relationship between napping and a higher incidence of blood pressure and stroke among those who take naps more frequently. The researchers concluded:

Prospective observational and MR analyses provided evidence that increased daytime nap frequency may represent a potential causal risk factor for essential hypertension. The potential causal association of increased nap frequency with ischemic stroke was supported by 2-sample MR and prospective observational results.

Dr. Raj Dasgupta however noticed some discrepancies in this study. The number one discrepancy is the failure to describe what a nap entails. Dr. Dasgupta is a respected expert in medicine who frequently offers insightful commentary on news programs and television series like The Doctors and Larry King Now.

Contradictions With Multiple Other Studies

Other studies published over the years, report the exact opposite of what these Chinese doctors are concluding in their research. One such study was reported back on March 7th, 2019 which appeared on EurekAlert.

A nap a day keeps high blood pressure at bay…

…was the title of an article published on EurekaAlert. In that study, it became apparent that

“Midday sleep appears to lower blood pressure levels at the same magnitude as other lifestyle changes. For example, salt and alcohol reduction can bring blood pressure levels down by 3 to 5 mm Hg,” said Manolis Kallistratos, MD, a cardiologist at the Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula, Greece, and one of the study's co-authors, adding that a low-dose antihypertensive medication usually lowers blood pressure levels by 5 to 7 mm Hg, on average.

Overall, taking a nap during the day was associated with an average 5 mm Hg drop in blood pressure, which researchers said is on par with what would be expected from other known blood pressure-lowering interventions. In addition, for every 60 minutes of midday sleep, 24-hour average systolic blood pressure decreased by 3 mm Hg.

Pubmed Also Reports Different Findings

An Epublication on 2021 Oct 4 on Pubmed ‘The impact of daytime napping on athletic performance'  also draws other conclusions and results from their research. They state:

Prevailing findings indicate that following a normal sleep night or after a night of sleep loss, a mid-day nap may enhance or restore several exercises and cognitive performance aspects, while concomitantly providing benefits to athletes' perceptual responses. Most, but not all, findings suggest that compared to short-term naps (20-30 min), long-term ones (>35-90 min) appear to provide superior benefits to the athletes.

Greek study compared napping habits of over 23,000 Greeks aged 20 to 86 years old

The Blue zone residents of Ikaria would also be quite surprised at the conclusions reached by the Chinese researchers. There is a study conducted by Greek researchers where they compared napping habits of over 23,000 Greeks aged 20 to 86 years old and the relationship with death from heart disease.

According to the findings, people who napped frequently (3 times a week for at least 30 minutes) had a 37 percent lower risk of passing away from heart disease. Even if you only do it once in a while, taking a nap has been linked to positive health outcomes, including a 12 percent reduction in the chance of dying from cardiovascular disease. (link)


The fact that these Chinese doctors reached a completely different conclusion from their study compared to other researchers supports the idea that more data may be necessary to reach a conclusive answer. In the meantime us here at NewsGrab.Info will not sacrifice ours siestas.

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About the Author: Mebely Connors

Mebely Connors is a retired health care professional. For the past 4 years, she has been working from home, writing for different publications. She specializes in health and nutrition-related articles.
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