Make like a Mediterranean and have a siesta, it could be great for your health.

A study presented at the European Society of Cardiology explores the benefits of taking a nap. The team of scientists led by Dr Kallistratos from Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens monitored 386 participants (200 men and 186 women – average age 61.4 years old).

All of them had hypertension. The researchers recorded a number of things including sleep time, blood pressure, lifestyle habits, BMI (Body Mass Index) and echocardiographic measurements.

The results showed that sleeping for 60 minutes after a midday meal gave an average blood pressure reading (over 24 hours) that was 4mm of mercury lower and the participants’ blood pressure continued to drop by 2% and used less medication.

I know that it’s not realistic to imagine that everyone has the luxury of taking a nap for an hour after lunch, but if you’re able to do it at the weekend or on a day off, you should. Resting after lunch is also great for your digestion.

References: European Society of Cardiology