Napping once or twice a week can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart failure and stroke by nearly 50 percent, as study finds.
The research compared regular nappers with those who did not nap, assessing the link between naps and heart disease incidents.
In the study were 3,462 Swiss residents aged 35 to 75 who were selected randomly for this study and followed over 5 years.
The study found that those who napped once or twice weekly had a 48 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease events compared to those who did not nap.
Nap duration or having more naps didn’t show any positive effect on cardiovascular disease.
Those who napped more than 3 times a week tended to be male, smokers, older, and to weigh more.
They slept longer at night when compared to those who didn’t nap through the day.
They also reported more episodes of sleepiness during the day and suffered from severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
This sleep disorder occurs when the throat muscles relax and block the airway during sleep, causing abnormal breathing.
Professor Kristine Yaffe and Dr Yue Leng, in a linked editorial, said:
“While the exact physiological pathways linking daytime napping to [cardiovascular disease] risk is not clear, [this research] contributes to the ongoing debate on the health implications of napping, and suggests that it might not only be the duration, but also the frequency that matters.
The study of napping is a challenging but also a promising field with potentially significant public health implications.
While there remain more questions than answers, it is time to start unveiling the power of naps for a supercharged heart.”
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The study was published in the journal Heart (Häusler et al., 2019).