Friday March 22, 2019

Remembering Your Partner Can Help You Keep Your BP Down

If replicated, the findings could have implications for those facing everyday stressful situations, the researchers added

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blood pressure
BP-monitoring machine. Pixabay

Having a romantic partner present — even in your mind — can help you keep blood pressure down in daily stressful situations, say researchers.

When faced with a stressful situation, thinking about your romantic partner may help keep blood pressure under control just as effectively as actually having your significant other in the room with you, according to a study by University of Arizona psychologists.

“This suggests that one way being in a romantic relationship might support people’s health is through allowing people to better cope with stress and lower levels of cardiovascular reactivity to stress across the day,” said psychology doctoral student Kyle Bourassa.

Night-owl women not for long-term relationships: Study
In stress? Remember your romantic partner and keep BP down. pixabay

“It appears that thinking of your partner as a source of support can be just as powerful as actually having them present,” Bourassa added.

For the study, published in the journal Psychophysiology, 102 participants were asked to complete a stressful task — submerging one foot into 3 inches of cold water ranging from 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Researchers measured participants’ blood pressure, heart rate and heart rate variability before, during and after the task.

The participants, all of whom were in committed romantic relationships, either had their significant other sitting quietly in the room with them during the task or they were instructed to think about their romantic partner as a source of support during the task. In third scenario, they were instructed to think about their day during the task.

Blood Pressure
Representational image. Flickr

The effect on blood pressure reactivity was just as powerful whether the partner was physically present or merely conjured mentally.

“The findings may help explain, in part, why high-quality romantic relationships are consistently associated with positive health outcomes in the scientific literature,” said Bourassa.

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If replicated, the findings could have implications for those facing everyday stressful situations, the researchers added. (IANS)

Next Story

A Nap During The Day Can Lower High BP: Study

Further research is needed to validate these findings, the team noted

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blood pressure
BP-monitoring machine. Pixabay

Want to lower your high blood pressure? Taking a nap during the day may help reduce hypertension levels, besides increasing your energy levels and improving mood, finds a study.

The findings showed that taking a nap during the day was associated with an average 5 mm Hg drop in blood pressure.

In addition, for every 60 minutes of mid-day sleep, 24-hour average systolic (top number) blood pressure decreased by 3 mm Hg.

“Mid-day sleep appears to lower blood pressure levels at the same magnitude as other lifestyle changes,” said Manolis Kallistratos, cardiologist at the Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula in Greece.

“These findings are important because a drop in blood pressure as small as 2 mm Hg can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack by up to 10 per cent,” said Kallistratos.

Blood Pressure
Mid-day nap can lower high BP. Flickr

Moreover, people who slept during the day had more favourable blood pressure numbers readings (128.7/76.2 versus 134.5/79.5 mm Hg) compared with those who did not.

“We obviously don’t want to encourage people to sleep for hours on end during the day, but on the other hand, they shouldn’t feel guilty if they can take a short nap, given the potential health benefits,” said Kallistratos.

The results will be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session in New Orleans.

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For the study, the team included 212 people aged 62 years on average with a mean blood pressure of 129.9 mm Hg.

Further research is needed to validate these findings, the team noted. (IANS)