Many things in our lives today can stress us out. If you have a new baby, a new job, a new spouse or a new apartment in Raleigh, NC, your life has changed. These are some of the most major stressors in life. If you have recently had a major life change, find a way to relieve the tension in your daily life.
But, our busy schedules can make us tense too. Being tense can raise our blood pressure, and put us at risk for heart disease. The antidote is a nap.
In an Allegheny College study of 85 young and tired adults, half the subjects took a nap for up to an hour. Then all the volunteers were given a mentally stressful test. Their heart rates were monitored while they took the test and after they were done.
All the subjects experienced a rise in blood pressure and pulse, but those who had napped for at least 45 minutes had significantly less dramatic rises during the test and a quicker return to lower numbers.
If a nap is totally impossible in your busy day, extra sleep at night is recommended. Protecting your heart from the effects of stress could have a big reward.