There’s good news for all of you habitual nappers out there! A recent study has found that regular naps may actually be good for your heart health and this has given nappers reason to rejoice.
Regular Napping Could Improve Heart Health
Typically written off as lazy or sluggish, people who like to nap have received their fair share of criticism over the years. As it turns out, they may have been on to something. The health journal Heart has published a new Swiss study that found regular napping may actually improve cardiovascular health. The study looked at 3,500 adults between the ages of 35 and 75 over the course of eight years. Participants kept details logs of their napping habits, nightime sleeping habits, diet and lifestyle habits. They also underwent thorough medical testing to evaluate their overall health throughout the study.
What the study determined was that subjects who took one to two naps per week were significantly less likely to develop heart disease or suffer from a stroke. This is most likely because sleep is directly linked to overall health. Individuals who do not get an adequate amount of sleep often develop serious medical conditions as time goes on, including cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. For people who get inadequate sleep at night, taking one to two naps per week may compensate for the missed nighttime sleep.
A total of 155 participants in the study had heart issues at some point during the course of observation. Many of these subjects were individuals who did not nap at all.
On the flip side, the study found that those who nap too much can have adverse effects, such as excess drowsiness. So what is considered too much napping? Anything more than seven to eight naps per week, depending on the individual, can be excessive and actually lead to an increase in fatigue. In fact, some excessive nappers in the study were actually found to be at an increased risk for heart disease!
There was also a notable exception to the conclusive results. Participants over the age of 65 who napped a reasonable amount were still just as susceptible to developing cardiovascular issues as those who did not nap at all. This leads researchers to believe that at a certain age, when heart disease is more likely in general, adequate sleep will not necessarily reduce the risk.
All in all, it looks like nappers have something to celebrate! Go ahead and grab your pillow and catch some mid-day zzz’s – just not too many.