Taking daytime naps a couple times a week may be linked to healthier heart

Are you in the habit of taking a nap during the day once or twice a week? Well, a recent study has found that doing so may lower your risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease) or strokes.

A recent study was conducted to see if there was a link between the number of naps taken and the length of a nap and the risk of fatal and non-fatal heart disease complication. The study was done by researchers at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Researchers found that people who indulged in napping once in a while, that is, once or twice a week, for five minutes to an hour, were 48% less likely to experience a heart attack, stroke or heart failure as compared to people who didn’t nap all. 3,462 people who were between the ages of 35 and 75 took part in the study for just a little over five years.

This study was published in Heart, which is the journal of the British Cardiovascular Society. The study also found that there were no correlations to ending up with healthier hearts with a greater frequency or duration of naps.

Stephen MacMahon, who is a cardiovascular expert at the Oxford University’s George Institute for Global Health in England, comments that previous studies have shown that sleep patterns are associated with a range of chronic health conditions.

MacMahon says former studies have shown the association that chronic disease has on asleep rather than the other way around. He also says that it is difficult to figure out what is cause and effect particularly when the onset of serious conditions like CVD can go symptom free for years before there is a critical complication like a heart attack. MacMahon, who was not part of the study made his comment to the Science Media Centre in London.

Also, Naveed Sattar, who is a Professor of Metabolic Medicine at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, said the study is interesting in that those participants who napped once or twice a week seemed to have healthier, organized lifestyles. On the other hand, those who napped on a daily basis seemed to have more sickness.

Sattarsays the difference in risks to CVD is due to an intentional plan of napping once or twice a week by those who were healthier heart wise while those who napped more regularly seemed to have poorer health lifestyles. He feels that no conclusive judgment can be made that one or two naps per week is the definitive cause for healthy hearts, but that the far better aim is to have regular good night’s sleep, follow good diets and decent levels of exercise.