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Napping can come with big benefits like helping you relax, improving your mood and keeping you alert when you need it most.
But have you ever napped just a little too long and woke up feeling sluggish for the rest of the day? Well, that may not be the only downside of a long nap…
In fact, according to research presented to the European Society of Cardiology, if your naps regularly extend beyond a certain time limit, you could be facing over a 30 percent higher risk of heart disease and death.
Daytime napping and the cardiovascular disease connection
Previous research on the link between daytime naps and heart disease has produced conflicting results. So, no one could really say for sure whether napping was a healthy activity or harmful to your health.
So, researchers set out to clarify the issue by gathering all of the available evidence from 20 separate studies. That included a huge number of study participants — 313,651 to be exact — to assess the relationship between napping and the risks of all-cause death and cardiovascular disease.
And the results came down to this…
Naps of any length at all were linked to a 19 percent elevated risk of death, with a more pronounced risk found for women, who had a 22 percent greater likelihood of death with napping compared to no napping.
And if your naps go on longer, your risk goes up exponentially!
The team found that long naps (more than 60 mins) were associated with a 30 percent greater risk of all-cause death as well as a 34 percent higher likelihood of cardiovascular disease compared to no napping if you sleep more than six hours per night.
In other words, if you’re getting enough sleep overnight, snoozing too long during the day could be risky business.
The researchers say this could be due to the fact that some studies have linked long snoozes with higher levels of inflammation, which is risky for both your heart health and your longevity. And additional research has even connected napping with higher blood pressure, diabetes and poor overall physical health.
How to enjoy your nap without so much risk
Luckily in all of the darkness, there was some good news for those of us who don’t want to give up our naps completely.
This same research showed that short naps (less than 60 minutes) were not a risk factor for developing heart disease. And even better found that shorter naps — especially those less than 30 to 45 minutes — might actually help improve your heart health if you get insufficient sleep at night.
The idea of short naps being beneficial was backed up in a different nap study that followed participants in a Swiss population study for about five years. Though their findings concurred with the downside of long naps, they also found that people who took 15 to 20-minute power naps decreased the odds of suffering a heart-related event.
So, where does that land us when it comes to lying down for a nap?
If you want to take a nap, just make sure to keep it short and sweet. And if you’re not already in the habit of napping, there’s no reason to start now.
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!
Long naps may be bad for health — EurekAlert!
Napping: Do’s and don’ts for healthy adults — Mayo Clinic