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Link between napping, high blood pressure and stroke

A quick power nap can boost energy and help you feel refreshed. But a new study links frequent napping to high blood pressure. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams shares that it's likely not be the naps themselves that are the issue, but rather the health and nighttime sleep patterns of the people who take them.

Man and dog napping
Frequent napping may mean you're not getting enough sleep at night
Photo illustration by Metro Newspaper Service
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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Frequent naps could be a possible risk factor for high blood pressure and stroke. Researchers from China looked at health and lifestyle data of 360,000 people from the UK to see if there was an association between napping and first-time reports of stroke or high blood pressure.

Results of the study shows that those who napped the most had higher risks of developing high blood pressure and stroke. But experts say it's not the naps themselves that may be the issue.

“This may be because, although taking a nap itself is not harmful, many people who take naps may do so because of poor sleep at night," says Dr. Michael A. Grandner, director of the Sleep Health Research Program and the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic at the University of Arizona in Tucson. "Poor sleep at night is associated with poorer health, and naps are not enough to make up for that."

Grander says the new study backs up other research that shows taking more naps may reflect increased risk for problems with heart health and other issues.

The study is published in the Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.

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Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

MORE HEALTH FUSION:
The aftermath of reports of active shooters at several Minnesota schools has increased anxiety levels for some students and parents. Even though the situation was a hoax, people worry about the real thing. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks to the director of clinical services at Zumbro Valley Health Center about how parents can help their kids cope.

Opinion by Viv Williams
Viv Williams hosts the NewsMD podcast and column, "Health Fusion." She is an Emmy (and other) award-winning health and medical reporter whose stories have run on TV, digital and newspaper outlets nationwide. Viv is passionate about boosting people's health and happiness by helping them access credible, reliable and research-based health information from top experts. She regularly interviews experts and patients from leading medical institutions, such as Mayo Clinic.
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