Daytime napping 1–2 times a week may benefit heart health

Taking a daytime nap once or twice a week may halve the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.

This is the main takeaway of an observational study in the journal Heart.

Researchers explain in their paper, much controversy has surrounded the relationship between daytime napping and cardiovascular health.

The CSI has appointed an expert committee who is drafting the guidelines. These will then be forwarded to all its members and become the rule book. According to CSI, the guidelines will be out soon, once approved by its members.

Some previous studies, referenced by the authors, have found a lower risk of coronary heart disease among daytime nappers, while others have found a higher risk of cardiac events or cardiovascular mortality among those who regularly nap during the day.

The researchers looked at the associations between napping frequency and napping duration, on the one hand, and the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure, on the other.

Those who napped more frequently tended to be older, overweight males who smoked. These participants also tended to sleep for longer at night, have sleep apnea, and feel more sleepy during the day.

During the 5-year monitoring period, 155 cardiovascular events occurred. To assess the association between naps and cardiovascular events, the researchers accounted for potential confounders, such as age or heart disease risk factors, such as hypertension.

The researchers found that taking 1–2 weekly naps during the day was linked with 48% lower chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure, compared with those who did not nap at all.

However, the analysis revealed no link between cardiovascular events and the duration of the naps.