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DAILY NAPS NOT ONLY HELP FIGHT FATIGUE, BUT MAY ALSO PRTOECT YOUR HEART

New research suggests a daily nap may reduce a person's risk of death from heart disease heart disease , possibly by lowering stress stress levels.

With obligations and commitments exhausting everyone, taking a daily nap can help recover lost sleep time and invigorate you to continue on your day with increased productivity. Recent research documented the taking of a daily nap helped offset drowsiness and improved performance and alertness of not only airplane pilots and truck drivers, but also emergency room doctors and nurses.

However, another recent study indicated that a midday "siesta" also might reduce a person's risk of death from heart disease heart disease , possibly by lowering stress stress levels. The research stemmed from the observation that heart disease death rates are lower in Mediterranean and Latin American countries where midday siestas are part of the culture.   In the groups studied, the people who took naps at least three times a week for an average of at least 30 minutes were 37% less likely to die of heart disease than people who did not take regular naps. The perceived protective effect was stronger among working men than among men who were retired, suggesting that the stress-lowering effects of napping may explain the finding.

Even if a daily nap does turn out to lower heart risk, it is only one of many explanations for why fewer Greeks than Americans die from heart attacks and strokes.   Other research has helped establish the cardio-protective benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet -- rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains; low in red meat.   In other words, a well- balanced and nutricious diet.

The bottom line is - even if you can't take midday nap, you can probably derive some benefit from sitting or lying quietly for five to ten minutes sometime during the day.   Just a few minutes sitting in the sunshine might be beneficial and can help you avoid depression and other seasonal maladies.

For more information on the nap research project, click here