How a power nap can keep your heart healthy

How a power nap can keep your heart healthy

 


We love naps! They not only make us fit but also strengthen our hearts. But only under certain conditions, as a new study shows.

After lunch, most of us feel a little sleepy at first. No wonder: the body is busy digesting during the midday slump and our energy level drops to rock bottom. Those who can, certainly like to take a nap now. Doctors have been preaching for a long time that this not only lifts our spirits but also makes us fit in the head again. Many studies also suggest that a power nap can protect us from heart attacks and strokes. But is that always true? No! At least that's what researchers at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland are now saying. In fact, their new study found that only a certain number of naps each week actually protects our hearts.

Yes, napping is acceptable, but only in moderation.

Over the course of five years, the scientists looked at data from 3,262 people. The participants were separated into groups according to how often they napped during the week. The majority of participants (58%) did not take one at all. Some people napped in the afternoon once or twice a week (19%), 12 percent napped three to five times a week (12%), and 11 percent napped virtually every day.

Surprising outcome

When compared to the other groups, those who napped once or twice a week had a 48 percent lower risk of heart attack or stroke. The subjects who didn't sleep at all between naps came in second. Those who napped practically every day had the highest risk of heart attack and stroke, which was surprising.

The study's author, Dr. Nadine Hausler, and her team were astonished by the results of the patients who napped practically every day. Other elements that could influence the study's outcome had already been considered by the researchers. The British Medical Journal reported all of the findings.

A stress-relieving nap in the middle of the day

As a result, the study concludes that naps are beneficial if taken in moderation. Taking a little afternoon sleep once or twice a week is the best protection for our hearts. This reduces our stress levels and, in some cases, can compensate for a lack of sleep.

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