Friday, February 16, 2007

Napping May Benefit the Heart

A new study indicates that taking a midday nap may reduce your risk for heart disease. This study proves to be very good news for me as I’m a firm believer in the nap! The study examined more than 23,000 people from Greece with no history of heart disease, stroke or cancer and followed participants for more than 6 years. Researcher Dimitrios Trichopoulos, MD and his colleagues chose to study people from Greece because people living in Mediterranean and Latin American countries have fewer deaths due to heart diseases, which may be due to their traditions of taking siestas during the day.

The results showed that participants who napped at least three times a week for an average of 30 minutes were 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease than those who did not take regular naps. Researchers hypothesize that taking a nap during the day may help to reduce stress.

“The siesta is a victim of progress. Most of us aren’t in the position to take a daily nap,” says Trichopoulos. “But our research suggests that the practice could help protect the heart, and we need further studies to find out if this is really the case.”

Hmm, so who wants to be the one to let me boss know that it’s really in my best interest to take naps during the day? Think he’ll go for it? Me neither!

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