September 10, 2019
Are you falling asleep in meetings or curling up under your desk to catch forty winks? Your boss might not be happy with you – but you’re doing wonders for your health, according to a new study.
Taking A Nap Once Or Twice A Week Could Save Your Life
New research has found short and additional daytime sleeps, one or twice a week, could cut the risk of heart attack and stroke by almost half.
The team from University Hospital Lausanne in Switzerland looked at 3,462 people aged between 35 and 75. They followed the group for an average of five years and asked them to record how many naps they took.
Of the people being studied: 58% did not nap, 19% had taken one to two naps during the previous week, and 12% had taken three to five. Some people (11%) took as many as six to seven naps per week.Related... How To Have A Better Night's Sleep: The Ultimate Sleep Hygiene Guide The researchers found those who napped once or twice in a seven-day period – for between roughly five minutes and an hour – were 48% less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or heart failure compared to those who did not nap at all.  This benefit remained even when other factors like smoking were taken into account. 
No other associations were found. The findings, published in the journal Heart, saw in the five-year follow-up that there were 155 cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke within the group. 
The effects of napping is one of the least studied areas in the field of sleep, the researchers say, however they believe the practice may benefit cardiovascular health because it relieves stress. 
But they’re unclear as to whether daytime napping is good for reducing blood pressure. Some argue that the act of waking up produces a surge of blood pressure, while others have suggested a positive longer-term effect.
Vanessa Smith, senior cardiac nurse for the British Heart Foundation, said: “Many of us might aim to grab an extra 40 winks here and there, but more evidence is needed before we can say that regular napping can help to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
“However, there are many other lifestyle changes you can make which we know help to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.”
Smith recommended doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week and eating a Mediterranean-based diet to reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.Related... A Night Owl And Morning Lark Swapped Sleep Routines – Here's What Happened This Is What It's Like To Fear Going To Bed How To Have A Better Night's Sleep: The Ultimate Sleep Hygiene Guide
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