Daily nap lowers risk of heart attack, according to new study

woman sleeping in bed
Even a short nap can have benefits. Photo credit: Getty.

If you're someone who can't get through the afternoon without a quick kip under the desk - great news.

New research suggests that daytime naps may be linked to a lower risk of heart attack or stroke, as long as they're limited to only a few times a week.

The research, published Monday in the journal Heart, is based on data collected from nearly 3500 people living in Switzerland.

"We looked at healthy adults and found that people who take occasional naps - once or twice a week - had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease compared to people who were not napping at all," said Nadine Häusler, an internist at the University Hospital of Lausanne, and lead author of the new research.

The researchers tracked the participants between the ages of 35 and 75 for five years. About one in five participants hit what the researchers found to be the napping sweet spot: one to two times per week.

It was that occasional nap frequency which was linked to a 48 percent lowered risk for heart attack, stroke or heart failure.

These short snoozes could be a valuable way to relieve stress and compensate for inadequate sleep at night, thereby protecting heart health, the paper says.