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When it comes to protecting our heart there are some pretty simple things we can do to help promote heart health. Whether you’re already dealing with some kind of heart issue or merely wanting to avoid one, perhaps napping a bit more might be a good idea.

A study that was published recently has found a link between napping during the week and a reduced risk of heart attack as well as stroke. That being said, this doesn’t include excessive napping or not napping enough. In order to reap the benefits, you likely need about one or two naps during the day per week.

These findings were published in the journal BMJ Heart and titled ‘Association of napping with incident cardiovascular events in a prospective cohort study.’ For this study researchers monitored almost four thousand volunteers in Switzerland for about five years. Throughout those years they got their patients to write down their napping habits and compared those habits to those of people with cardiovascular disease and calculated things out. Those of the group who ended up with cardiovascular issues seemed to not nap as often or not nap at all. 

The results of this study go as follows:

155 fatal and non-fatal events occurred. We observed a significantly lower risk for subjects napping 1–2 times weekly for developing a CVD event (HR 0.52, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.95) compared with non-napping subjects, in unadjusted as well as adjusted models. The increased HR (1.67, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.55) for subjects napping 6–7 times weekly disappeared in adjusted models (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.38). Neither obstructive sleep apnoea nor excessive daytime sleepiness modified this lower risk. No association was found between nap duration and CVD events.

Subjects who nap once or twice per week have a lower risk of incident CVD events, while no association was found for more frequent napping or napping duration. Nap frequency may help explain the discrepant findings regarding the association between napping and CVD events.

Basically, napping is good for you and getting some sleep during the day might benefit your heart as well as other parts of your mind and body. In a world that is designed to force us to avoid naps, this might come across as concerning. As someone who enjoys daytime snoozing this is great news for me but I am still skeptical nonetheless. 

No, napping isn’t a cure for heart disease and it isn’t going to guarantee that you won’t get it but it will help your wellbeing in that moment and in the long-run by reducing your risks at least on some level. It really is a win-win regardless of how you look at it. Perhaps as time goes we will better understand this and other things like it.

To learn more about heart disease in general and what it is please take the time to check out the video below. If it can be avoided it should be. There is nothing good that comes with it and those who deal with it can vouch for just how truly brutal and scary it is.