The restorative benefits of a good night’s sleep, and its impact on our overall health have been well documented.
But now new research has revealed that night-time isn’t the only period of the day where slumber could potentially equal success when it comes to tackling a range of health outcomes.
Researchers looked at the link between average nap duration and frequency and the risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease ‘events,’ such as heart attack, stroke, or heart failure, among 3,462 randomly selected residents of Lausanne, Switzerland, aged between 35 and 75.
Recruited between 2003 and 2006 to the CoLaus study — which looked at factors behind cadiovascular disease development — participants’ first check-up took place between 2009 and 2012.
Here information on nap and sleep patterns in the previous week was collected and the participants' health monitored for a subsequent period averaging five years.
More than half (58 per cent, 2014) said they hadn’t taken a nap during the previous seven days, around one in five (19 per cent, 667) said they took one to two naps; while one in 10 (12 per cent, 411) said they took three to five. A similar number (11 per cent, 370) said they took six to seven naps during the past week.
During the period monitored, there were 155 fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease ‘events’.
And even when taking into account influential factors, such as age, duration of night-time sleep, other cardiovascular disease risks, such as high blood pressure/cholesterol, the research concluded that occasional napping, once to twice a week, was associated with an almost halving (48 per cent) in attack/stroke/heart failure risk, when compared to those who didn’t take any naps.
The above also remained true when factoring in excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and regularly sleeping for a minimum of 6 hours a night. Only severe sleep apnoea and older adults (65+) affected this link.
Drs Yue Leng and Kristine Yaffe, of the University of California at San Francisco, USA, highlighted that the research into this area is hampered by not having a gold standard in which to measure naps, and as a result they argue that it’s “premature to conclude on the appropriateness of napping for maintaining optimal heart health.”
However, they went on to add, “While the exact physiological pathways linking daytime napping to [cardiovascular disease] risk is not clear, [this research] contributes to the ongoing debate on the health implications of napping, and suggests that it might not only be the duration, but also the frequency that matters.”
Before continuing, “The study of napping is a challenging but also a promising field with potentially significant public health implications. While there remain more questions than answers, it is time to start unveiling the power of naps for a supercharged heart.”
Princess Diana's 'secret' trip to Australia before committing to Prince Charles revealed
Australia always held a special place in Princess Diana's heart
By Georgia Farquharson •
Kate Middleton opens up in emotional phone call as she reveals the one thing her children ask her to stop
Kate Middleton has shared the last of her heartfelt phone calls with Hold Still finalists
By Emma Shacklock •
This new drug could end your recurring yeast infections—for good
A new antifungal drug has been approved in the US for the treatment of singular and recurring yeast infections
By Emma Dooney •
Could a sleep divorce be the secret of a happy marriage?
Why a sleep divorce could be the best cure for insomnia and sleepless nights
By Ali Horsfall •
Best walking socks: Comfortable, breathable and sweat-wicking socks for all-day walks
Keep feet dry and comfortable with our pick of the best walking socks
By Aleesha Badkar •
The one thing you should never do when you have sunburn
The most important thing to avoid when you have sunburnt skin has been revealed
By Laura Harman •
Why you shouldn’t sleep naked when the weather is hot
Many of us love to sleep naked when it's hot at night but experts say it may do you more harm than good
By Laura Harman •
How to talk to your employer about the COVID-19 vaccine
Your company may require you to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Here's how to speak to them about it.
By Danielle Valente •
Why good sleep hygiene is so important for a great night’s sleep
Learning good sleep hygiene is simple–and will help you drift off easily every night
By Tanya Pearey •
8 no-strings sex apps for 40+ women who want casual sex, but are they right for you?
Looking for some adult fun with zero commitment? Then you need one of these no-strings sex apps...
By Faye M Smith •