Long naps linked to cardiovascular problems, says study

Results suggest that shorter naps might improve heart health in people who sleep insufficiently at night. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

BEIJING (XINHUA) - Chinese researchers have found that daytime naps lasting more than 60 minutes may raise the risk of heart disease and death.

Researchers from Guangzhou Medical University analysed more than 313,000 participants from over 20 studies to examine the link between napping and potential health risks. About 39 per cent of participants took naps.

The results found that compared to those who did not nap, people who regularly napped for more than 60 minutes each day had a 34 per cent higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease, and a 30 per cent higher risk of all-cause death.

According to the study, naps, regardless of length, were linked with a 19 per cent increased risk of death. The connection was more pronounced among women, with nappers seeing a 22 per cent higher risk of death than non-nappers, and older participants, whose risk rose by 17 per cent with naps.

The results suggest that shorter naps, especially those less than 45 minutes in length, might improve heart health in people who sleep insufficiently at night, said the researchers.

They said the reasons why snoozing affects the body are still uncertain, but some studies have suggested that long naps are linked with higher levels of inflammation, a risk factor for heart health.

Other research also connected napping with high blood pressure, diabetes, and poor overall physical health.

The study has been published in the journal Sleep Medicine and presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2020 digital conference.

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