Most of us can likely agree that taking a nap during weekdays is close to impossible, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could all run home, lie down and doze off for 20 minutes to an hour? Well, if you’ve ever questioned the benefits of taking a nap, now’s a good time to share it’s been medically proven that siestas are indeed good for you. How so? According to researchers from the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland, having an afternoon nap twice a week may improve heart health and reduce the risk of a stroke.
It was found that people who had a downtime nap are almost 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack, compared to those who do not sleep during the day. For five years, scientists monitored 3,400 people aged 35 to 75 for and studied the link between napping frequency and average nap duration as well as the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
During that time, there were 155 heart attacks or strokes among the participants, with those who napped once or twice a week having their risk slashed by 48 percent. However, you don’t want to overdo it with the napping as too much sleep is actually a thing, and no extra benefits came from taking a nap every day.
Moreover, researchers discovered that frequent nappers tend to be overweight, older and male, and also slept for longer at night than those who did not sleep during the day - however, they also suffered from severe obstructive sleep apnoea. In an article published in BMJ Heart. Dr. Yue Leng and Dr. Kristine Yaffe from the University of California at San Francisco, stated it was "premature to conclude on the appropriateness of napping "for maintaining optimal heart health.”
They added: "While the exact physiological pathways linking daytime napping to (cardiovascular disease) risk is not clear, (this research) contributes to the ongoing debate on the health implications of napping, and suggests that it might not only be the duration, but also the frequency that matters."
So next time you're debating whether to take a nap or not, just think of the good you'll be doing for both your beauty sleep and your heart!