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Taking An Afternoon Nap Could Help You Live Longer, According to Scientists




  • Researchers from Switzerland looked into the impact of napping frequency and duration on health
  • Napping during the daytime has a positive effect on heart health, according to researchers
  • One to two naps per week showed more health benefits compared to not napping at all.

Taking daytime naps not only lets you destress but it also helps you live longer after all. A new study has found that getting some quick shut-eye during the afternoon is good for the heart. Scientists have found that people who take those naps once or twice have around 50 percent lesser chance of developing a stroke or suffering from a heart attack.

As you reach adulthood, it may be challenging to take the recommended hours of sleep, which, according to health experts is eight hours every night. However, taking a nap might just be the solution to reach that number.

Taking one to two naps a week is good for your health.

The latest study can be found in the journal, Heart. The findings are based on data collected from almost 3,500 participants from Switzerland. Compared to people who don’t take naps, those who nap occasionally – around 1 to 2 times a week – had a lower risk for heart disease, according to lead author Nadine Häusler.

To arrive at their findings, Häusler and the team from Switzerland’s University Hospital of Lausanne followed the participants – all between 35 and 75 years old – for five years. These individuals were healthy, didn’t have heart disease and had good sleeping habits.

The participants’ napping frequency varied, with more than half reporting that they didn’t take naps during the day while about one out of 10 said they did. From this report, researchers concluded that the napping frequency was 1-2 times per week.

This frequency is linked to the lowered risk of stroke incidence or heart disease.

The effect of napping on heart health has been studied before but none looked into the effect of frequency and duration. The authors wrote:

“Subjects who nap once or twice per week have a lower risk of incident CVD (cardiovascular disease) events, while no association was found for more frequent napping or napping duration.”

While the findings may encourage people to take their daytime siestas, the authors emphasized that this was only an observational study and so cause and effect cannot be established. It remains to be seen how napping can impact heart health but Häusler has this to say:

“Our best guess is that a daytime nap just releases stress from insufficient sleep.”

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