Daytime nap once a week lowers risk of heart attack and stroke

Regular-daytime-nappers-may-be-at-lower-heart-attack-stroke-risk

Regular-daytime-nappers-may-be-at-lower-heart-attack-stroke-risk

More than half (58 percent) said they never took a daytime siesta, while about one in 10 said they nodded off nearly daily. But no such association emerged for either greater frequency or duration of naps.

A new review has found that a daytime nap taken when or two times a week could reduced the hazard of coronary heart assaults or strokes. Numerous published studies on the topic have failed to consider napping frequency, or focused purely on cardiovascular disease deaths, or compared regular nappers with those not opting for a mini siesta, say the researchers.

Their health was later monitored for an average of five years.

Although napping once or twice weekly was found to have nearly halved the risk of the disease in comparison to those who never napped, the experts also found that napping duration had no impact on heart attack or stroke risk.

Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine at the University of Glasgow, said that while the study was "somewhat interesting", it seems that those who nap once or twice a week have healthier or organized lifestyles, but that those who napped daily were likely to be more sick.

Carried out by researchers at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland, the new study looked at 3,462 randomly selected residents of Lausanne aged between 35 and 75, with no previous history of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Now we don't have to feel guilty about taking those wonderful Sunday afternoon naps, we're actually being good to ourselves.

Occasional napping, once to twice weekly, was associated with an nearly halving in attack/stroke/heart failure risk (48%) compared with those who didn't nap at all. Only being older, 65 and above, and having severe sleep apnea affected results.

And they conclude: "The study of napping is a challenging but also a promising field with potentially significant public health implications". Participants who fell into that category saw their risk of experiencing a cardiovascular disease event decrease 48 percent - even when factors such as age, night-time sleep duration, and health aspects (e.g. high blood pressure) were taken into consideration.

And while there was originally a 67 percent increased risk of a cardiovascular disease event in the frequent napper contingent, this pretty much disappeared to nil when other factors (such as age, educational status, BMI, and various health conditions) were taken into consideration.

Next time you're feeling a bit sluggish, go ahead and hit the sheets for a power nap.

This is an observational study, and as such, can't establish cause, added to which the information on nap and sleep patterns relied on personal recall.

Gulati added, "But I am still going to enjoy my Sunday naps, and now say I am working on lowering my risk for heart disease when my husband asks".

Numerous published studies on the topic have failed to consider napping frequency or focused purely on cardiovascular disease deaths or compared regular nappers with those not opting for a mini
siesta, say the researchers.

"It is hard to compare studies as there is no gold standard for measuring and defining "naps" making it hard to make firm conclusions".

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