Impact of daytime napping on heart health

Henrietta Strickland
September 11, 2019

Dr. Martha Gulati, a cardiologist who is editor-in-chief of, the American College of Cardiology's patient website, said it makes sense that frequent napping could be a red flag for health problems.

Regular daytime nappers may be at lower heart attack/stroke risk.

New research has found that once or twice weekly daytime nap may lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.

During a check-up, the researchers gathered information on the participants' sleep and nap patterns in the previous week and then monitored their health for an average of five years. The strongest benefits were found in working men, and researchers theorized at the time that naps helped reduce stress. However, they add that nap frequency may help to explain the differing conclusions reached by researchers about the impact of napping on heart health in previous studies. But no such association emerged for either greater frequency or duration of naps.

Over the course of the research, there were 155 cardiovascular events.

The number of naps taken the previous week varied from none at all (58 percent) to six to seven (11 percent).

Tracking 3,462 people between the ages of 35 and 75 for just over five years, the report authors found that those who indulged in occasional napping - once or twice a week, for between five minutes to an hour - were 48% less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or heart failure than those who did not nap at all. The most frequent nappers (3-7 per week) tended to be older, male, smokers, and tended to weigh more and sleep for longer at night than non-nappers. They also reported more daytime sleepiness and more severe obstructive sleep apnea - a condition in which the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing.

Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Drugs at the University of Glasgow, reported that although the research was "somewhat interesting", it would seem that people who nap the moment or two times a week have more healthy or organized lifestyles, but that these who napped each day had been probable to be far more sick.

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 even after controlling for factors such as age, nighttime sleep duration, daytime sleepiness, depression, and regularity of sleep, as well as other cardiovascular disease risks, such as high blood pressure/cholesterol.

She talked about it turn out to be once an "observational ogle so does now not give us any details about why this frequency of sound asleep could well be famous and the records on nap and sleep patterns also relied on non-public take rather than physiological measurements".

Vanessa Smith, a cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, stated that more evidence would be needed to firmly establish a link between nap frequency and heart disease.

"It is hard to compare studies as there is no gold standard for measuring and defining "naps" making it hard to make firm conclusions".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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