Want to Help Your Heart? Take Naps!

And otherwise cut down on stress. That’s the message from a new study… at least three 30 minutes naps a week can cut the risk of dying from a heart attack by 37%!

Researchers find a nap is just what the heart needs

“People who take at least three daytime naps a week lasting 30 minutes or longer cut their risk of dying from a heart attack by 37 percent, according to a study by a team of U.S. and Greek researchers. Regular siestas apparently lower stress, which is frequently associated with heart disease, the scientists report in Monday’s edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine, a leading medical journal. ‘If you can take a midday nap, do so,’ advised co-author Dimitrios Trichopoulos, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Trichopoulos and a colleague, Androniki Naska of the Athens Medical School, followed 23,681 originally healthy men and women in Greece for more than six years. Of these, 792 died, 133 of them from coronary heart disease. Slightly more than half the study group took regular midday naps — a mark of siestas’ popularity in Mediterranean societies. The nappers’ death rate was about two-thirds the rate among Greeks who stayed awake all day, the study found. The reasons for napping’s life-saving merits aren’t definitely known, but a number of studies have found links between heart troubles and physical or emotional stress.”

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