Take That Nap—This Study Says It’s Good for Your Heart

Sign us up for a midday snooze!

By: Amanda Mushro


Photo by: Hero Images

Hero Images

A midday nap is a great way to recharge and help you power through the day. Now, there's good news concerning extra snoozes—a new study showed that napping is good for your heart health.

According to a recent study published in The British Medical Journal, taking one or two naps a week can help a lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke. However, too many naps and the benefits of extra midday sleep are unknown. So, go ahead and catch a few extra Z’s, but limit your nap time each week.

"We looked at healthy adults and found that people who take occasional naps—once or twice a week—had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease compared to people who were not napping at all," said Nadine Häusler, an internist at the University Hospital of Lausanne and lead author of the study.

For the study, researchers collected data over a five-year period from 3,500 adults living in Switzerland. Each participant was between the ages of 35 and 75 and had reported no prior issues with their heart or sleep deprivation.

The napping habits of the participants varied. About 58 percent said they never napped while one in 10 said they napped daily. Some participants seemed to make napping an art form with 12 percent reporting having taken 6 to 11 naps per week. Those in the sweet spot, napping once or twice a week, made up around 19 percent of the pool.

What researchers found was that those who napped once or twice per week had a 48 percent lower risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke or heart failure than those who did not take naps or who napped more frequently.

After looking at the findings, researchers believe one to two naps a week help to reduce stress overall but do not interrupt your nightly sleep. So, go ahead and get your snooze on!

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