Noise reduction shades and short naps are sleep aids for better health

Mar 23 2011

Short daytime naps can improve a person's heart health.
Short daytime naps can improve a person's heart health.
Researchers at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania found that a short, daytime nap can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health in people who are over-stressed.

Published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, the study involved 85 healthy university students. Half took daytime naps, followed by mental stress tests for the whole group. Researchers found that the students who slept for at least 45 minutes had significantly lower blood pressure.


"Our findings suggest that daytime sleep may offer cardiovascular benefit by accelerating cardiovascular recovery following mental stressors," wrote the researchers. "Further research is needed …to evaluate daytime sleep as a recuperative and protective practice, especially for individuals with known cardiovascular disease risk and those with suboptimal sleep quality."


The study also pointed out that Americans average about two hours less sleep a night than they did 50 years ago, which may have an effect on their health.


The addition of noise reduction shades to a bedroom is another aid to getting a good night's sleep. They can block sound from traffic, nearby trains or neighborhood noise that cause people to wake easily.
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