Regular midday naps or siesta are good for heart and lowers risk of dying from heart disease by more than a third, said researchers at the University of Athens Medical School.
A six-year study of nearly 24,000 Greek adults found those who made it a practice of napping at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to non-nappers.
The nappers apparently relieving some of the work-related stress that was bad for their hearts. The same conclusion could not be made for working women because of a limited number of subjects.
“We interpret our findings as indicating that among healthy adults, siesta, possibly on account of stress-releasing consequences, may reduce coronary mortality,” lead author Androniki Naska wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
A siesta is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. Such a period of sleep is a common tradition in hot countries.
In recent years, studies have suggested a biological need for afternoon naps. The body is on a 24-hour body clock, which makes you wind down between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. and again in the three hours directly after lunch. Researchers found that subjects of the studies felt that it was easiest to fall asleep at night and in the afternoon.