Napping regularly could dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack, study finds

Henrietta Brewer
September 10, 2019

"I don't think one can work out from this work whether "intentional" napping on one or two days per week improves heart health so no one should take from this that napping is a way to lessen their heart attack risk - to prove that would require proper trials", Sattar said in a statement. However, no such link was established for greater frequency or duration of naps.

The observational review, which was released in Heart, the journal of the British Cardiovascular Society, uncovered that no these affiliation emerged for better frequency or duration of naps.

Napping once or twice a week cut a person's risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure by 48%, compared with people who don't nap at all, the researchers found.

A study published in February suggested that people who catch up on missed sleep during the week by napping on weekends tend to snack more, increasing their risk for excess weight gain. They also tended to weigh more and to sleep for longer at night than those who said they didn't nap during the day.


"In fact, we found that frequent nappers had initially a higher risk for incident cardiovascular disease", said lead author Nadine Hausler, a postdoctoral researcher at University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland.

Occasional napping, once to twice weekly, was associated with an nearly halving in attack, stroke and heart failure risk compared with those who didn't nap at all. "Until we get to the answers to some of these questions, the implications of napping can not be fully addressed", they wrote.

During the five-year follow-up, participants had 155 fatal and non-fatal heart events, the findings showed.

And they conclude: "The study of napping is a challenging but also a promising field with potentially significant public health implications".


Occasional napping - once to twice weekly - was associated with an nearly halving of attack/stroke/heart failure risk (48 per cent) compared with
those who did not nap at all.

This association held true after taking account of potentially influential factors such as age and nighttime sleep duration, as well as other cardiovascular disease risks such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

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. The team further reports finding no associations with cardiovascular disease "events" for nap length (from 5 minutes to 1 hour plus).

Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow who was not involved in the study, said the results were "somewhat interesting" but added the differential risks may be more reflective of the infrequent nappers healthier lifestyles or organized lives than the napping itself. Another, also Greek, to a lower risk of coronary heart disease.


"It is tricky to examine analysis as there is now not one of these thing as a gold popular for measuring and defining "naps" making it hard to invent firm conclusions".

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