Take a break during the day, lean back, and catch a few Z's. A new study says that this could improve your heart health.
The study, which was published on Monday by the British Cardiovascular Society's journal Heart, looked at "3462 subjects of a Swiss population based cohort with no previous history of CVD [cardiovascular disease] reported their nap frequency and daily nap duration over a week, and were followed over 5.3 years." The study was conducted by researchers at the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland.
If you're worried about finding the time to squeeze multiple naps into your busy week, researchers found that as little as one nap per week could have noticeable results.
Study participants who took a nap "once or twice a week" were found to "have a lower risk of CVD events, while no association was found for more frequent napping or napping duration," the study's conclusion read. Participants who napped once or twice a week had a 48 percent lower risk of heart disease.
However, participants who napped several times a week were shown to have a higher rate of heart disease than those who did not nap at all. The researchers also admitted that "publication bias might exist, leading to an overestimation of an effect. It also said that prior studies on this topic are considered to be "controversial."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already warned that a lack of sleep can cause obesity, diabetes, stroke, "frequent mental distress," and high blood pressure, in addition to heart disease. The CDC recommended seven hours of sleep per night for people between 18 and 60 years old.