According to research presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress , taking an afternoon nap can lower blood pressure. The study included 386 people aged 61 on average and all with raised blood pressure. After adjusting for other factors, the study found that nappers had a four per cent lower blood pressure reading when awake and a six per cent lower reading while asleep than participants who didn't nap. While the reduction may seem small, researchers added that even small reductions have been found to reduce the chance of cardiovascular events by up to 10 per cent.
Another smart strategy: Change nap time to quiet time, and instead have him spend 45 minutes or so each afternoon playing or reading quietly. Now that Robin Ross's twins seem to have given up their nap for good, she credits quiet time with saving her sanity, not to mention the work of reassembling their room every afternoon. "Whenever I'd put them down for a nap, I'd be so nervous about what they might be doing in there alone that I'd check on them constantly," Ross says. "Now that we spend the time reading or coloring together, it's actually more restful. I'm finally in tune with their sleep needs -- and we're all a lot happier."