02/03/2011 05:59 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Lunchtime Napping Lowers Stress-Related Blood Pressure

If you've ever had one of those days when you've been under so much stress, you can almost feel your blood pressure go through the roof, there's good news. Taking a 45-minute nap at lunchtime after a stressful morning could see your blood pressure drop back to its normal level.

model-taking-nap-backstage-between-fashion-shows Even models need a snooze in between shows. Photo: AFP/Getty Images, Omar Torres

The results of a study by US researchers are a great excuse to get some shut-eye during your lunch break when the pressure's on at work.

The experts, whose findings are published in the International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, suggest napping for 45-60 minutes during the day could significantly lower blood pressure that's higher than normal due to stress.

They took 85 healthy volunteers and subjected them to a complex mental exercise designed to increase their blood pressure. Half of the volunteers were allowed to nap for 60 minutes afterwards, while the others had to stay awake.

After testing the volunteers' blood pressure, the researchers discovered those who had been napping had significantly lower rates than the non-napping group. And, as you might expect, the nappers were also less likely to say they felt sleepy during the day than the non-nappers too.

So could lunchtime snoozing be the answer to work-related stress and the damage it could potentially do to your heart? With so many people suffering from sleep problems these days, it could be a good idea, especially if you're susceptible to stress-related high blood pressure.

Are you partial to 40 winks in the middle of the day? If so, does it make you feel better afterwards?

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