New York (CNN) – Some good news for snooze fanatics – a new study finds that taking a nap once or twice a week can reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Researchers at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland, examined the relationship between the frequency and duration of naps and the risk of fatal and non-fatal complications of cardiovascular disease.
Tracking 3,462 people between the ages of 35 and 75 for just over five years, the report's authors find that those who indulge in random naps – once or twice a week, for between five minutes and an hour – 48% less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure than those who have not slept at all.
An observational study published in Heart, the journal of the British Cardiovascular Society, found that no such association appeared for a greater frequency or duration of seizures.
While some studies have been done on the effects of drowsiness on the heart h
'Subjects who doze once or twice a week are at a lower risk of accidents with cardiovascular disease until a link is found for "Sleep or nap duration is common," the authors of the report state.
"Sleep patterns have been reported to be associated with a number of chronic conditions," says Steven McMahon, a cardiovascular expert at the Georgia Institute for Global Health. Oxford University who
"Some, but not all, of these associations will reflect the effects of underlying chronic illness on sleep, not the other way around. It is often difficult to tell what is the cause and effect, especially when certain serious conditions, such as coronary heart disease, can to be largely asymptomatic for decades before a critical complication such as a heart attack, "he told the Science Media Center (SMC) in London.
Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, says that while the study is "somewhat interesting", those who sleep once or twice a week appear to have a healthier or more organized lifestyle, but that those who were napping every day would probably be sicker.
"This means that the previous accidental stopping pattern is deliberate and the second more regular stopping is likely to be a subclinical disease associated with a worse lifestyle. This would explain the differential risks, "Satar tells SMC.
" I don't think one can handle this job, whether deliberately stopping one or two days a week improves heart health, so no one should to assume that taking a nap is a way to reduce the risk of a heart attack, "he added.
" For now, it is far better to strive for a regular night's sleep and follow the usual lifestyle tips of good diets and decent levels of activity. "[1