Daytime sleep accelerates cardiovascular recovery after psychological stress

Int J Behav Med. 2012 Mar;19(1):111-4. doi: 10.1007/s12529-011-9150-0.


Background: Sleep restriction and poor sleep quality is linked with cardiovascular morbidity.

Purpose: The present study aimed to explore the influence of daytime sleep supplementation on cardiovascular reactivity.

Method: Participants (N = 85) were generally healthy young adults and were randomized to a 60-min polysomnographically-monitored sleep condition or to a no-sleep condition. Participants then completed a standard three-phase mental stress reactivity task.

Results: Significantly lower mean arterial pressure means were found in the recovery phase of the stress reactivity task among participants that accrued more than 45 min of daytime sleep.

Conclusion: These findings suggest daytime sleep may offer cardiovascular benefit in the form of greater cardiovascular recovery from psychological stress. Further research should assess daytime sleep characteristics (time of day, length, and architecture) on cardiovascular response, in an effort to better understand its role as a possible recuperative agent against suboptimal nocturnal sleep patterns.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Humans
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult