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Daytime napping lowers risk of heart attack, finds study

Taking a nap during daytime can not only refresh you but also lower the risk of heart attack or stroke if taken once or twice in a week, found a new study.

The impact of napping on heart health has been hotly contested since many of the 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.

In the study published in the Journal ‘Heart’, researchers looked at the association between napping frequency and average nap duration and the risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease ‘events,’ such as heart attack, stroke, or heart failure, among 3462 randomly selected residents of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Each participant was aged between 35 and 75 when recruited between 2003 and 2006 to the CoLaus study. The first check-up took place between 2009 and 2012 when information on their sleep and nap patterns in the previous week was collected, and their health was then subsequently monitored for an average of 5 years.

And they reported more daytime sleepiness and more severe obstructive sleep apnoea–a condition in which the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing. Occasional napping, once to twice weekly, was associated with an almost halving in attack/stroke/heart failure risk (48 per cent) compared with those who didn’t 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/cholesterol. No associations with cardiovascular disease ‘events’ were found for nap length.(ANI)

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