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Regular napping ‘reduces risk of heart attack’

Incidence was 48% lower among people who napped once or twice a week

People who nap once or twice a week could cut their risk of heart attack and stroke, a study has claimed.

Researchers studied data for 3,462 people in Lausanne, Switzerland, who were aged between 35 and 75 at the start of the study. They tracked them for an average of five years, looking at their sleeping patterns alongside their general health.

Of the people studied, 58% did not nap, 19% had taken one to two naps during the previous week, and 12% had taken three to five naps that week. Some 11% took six to seven naps per week.

Over the course of five years, there were 155 cardiovascular events – an incident such as a heart attack or a stroke – among the group.

The researchers found that those who napped once or twice a week were 48% less likely to experience these issues, even when other factors were taken into account.

Vanessa Smith, senior cardiac nurse for the British Heart Foundation, said more evidence is needed before we can say that regular napping can help to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

“Doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week and eating a healthy Mediterranean-based diet can reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. We also know that treating high blood pressure and managing your cholesterol can reduce your risk of life-threatening heart and circulatory diseases,” she stated.