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An Observational Study Suggests Nap Benefits

A recent study published in the journal Heart suggests that taking the occasional nap during the day (once or twice a week) can potentially lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

The amount of time spent napping and any frequency above twice per week did not seem to influence the results.

Researchers studied 3,462 randomly selected residents of Lausanne, Switzerland. The participants of the study were between the ages of 35 and 75 years. They had an initial check-up where information about sleep and nap patterns were recorded. The participants were monitored for an average of five years.

More than half of all participants said that they typically did not take naps. Nineteen percent reported taking one or two naps per week, 12 percent reported taking between three and five naps per week, and 11 percent reported napping almost daily.

During the monitoring period, 155 non-fatal and fatal cardiovascular disease events occurred. Those who reported one or two naps per week reduced their risk by about 48 percent compared to those who took no naps, even after controlling for factors like age, blood pressure, cholesterol, and nighttime sleeping habits.

The authors of this study indicate that this is an observational study only and does not establish cause. It also relied on the memories and reporting of the participants themselves. More research is needed to fully uncover how powerful naps can be for health.

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