To Your Health
September, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 09)
The Power of the Nap
By Editorial Staff
Think the benefits of napping go away once you outgrow childhood? Think again. Not only can naps help you catch up on lost sleep and provide a much-needed "break" from your busy day; they also help your heart stay healthy. Here's how.
People who take naps 1-2 times a week have a lower risk of suffering a cardiovascular event than people who don't nap, suggests research. More frequent napping does not seem to reduce the risk further, so it's not as if you need to be napping all day, every day (which can actually be detrimental to your health or hint at an underlying health issue). The duration of the nap doesn't seem to matter, either (researchers categorized naps as either less than one hour or more than one hour); just find the time to nap a few times a week and your heart will thank you.
Appearing in Heart, a research publication published by the British Medical Journal, the study involved more than 3,500 participants, none of whom had previous history of heart disease. Participants reported nap frequency and duration over the course of a week and were tracked for an average of more than five years. Those who reported taking 1-2 naps per week were less likely to suffer a fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular event (acute coronary syndromes and strokes, ischaemic heart disease) during the study period compared to people who never napped.
Talk to your doctor for other easy ways to keep your heart healthy – after you wake up from your latest nap, that is!