16 May Sleep Yourself Healthy
Deep, delicious, restorative sleep! How sweet the sound. How many Americans are sleep deprived? Science is telling us that sleep deprivation is truly helping to make us SICK, and that includes our blood pressure.
Joseph Mercola, osteopathic physician and New York Times Best Selling Author, informs us that “Lack of sleep interferes with metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. It’s long been known, in fact, that sleep deprivation increases your diabetes risk… so it’s not at all surprising that it also increases your risk for high blood pressure, because the two are caused by essentially the same factors.”
Recent medical studies showed a direct correlation between sleep deprivation, sleep quality or lack of sleep that adversely affected resistant hypertension. Resistant hypertension is a form of high blood pressure that does not respond to treatment, including use of blood-pressure-lowering medications. So what are we to do? It behooves us to find every means necessary to begin to get the quality and quantity of sleep that our best self deserves.
Naptime is not just for babies!
I’m sure you’ve heard by now about power naps and how the 20 minute nap can have an amazing effect on your job performance, creativity, and clear thinking. But science is now showing that taking a mid-day nap can also lower your blood pressure.
A recent study by The European Society of Cardiology shows that not only is midday sleep associated with lower blood pressure, but longer sleeps are even more beneficial. Midday sleepers had greater dips in blood pressure while sleeping at night which is associated with better health outcomes. Findings were that hypertensive patients who slept at noon were under fewer antihypertensive medications compared to those who didn’t sleep midday. Midday sleep is associated with lower 24 hour blood pressure, an enhanced fall of BP at night, and less damage to the arteries and the heart. The longer the midday sleep, the lower the systolic BP levels and probably fewer drugs needed to lower BP4.
So if you can, explore the possibility of leaving your computer and sneaking off into an unoccupied office on your lunch hour. Better yet, take a stroll outside on a sunny day with your lunch and then maybe napping in your warm car might just be the thing you need to boost your immune system, enhance creativity and lower blood pressure at the same time! If you have your own office, try lowering the blinds, turning off your monitor, putting your phone on do not disturb, and setting your clock to wake you up after 30–45 minutes! Your boss and you might just be amazed at what it does not only to your production and your health at the same time! Sweet dreams!