Let’s face it; many healthy habits aren’t that enjoyable. Eating more kale, going for an early morning jog and saying “no” to donuts at the office, while worth it, probably do not top your list of favorite things. But now there is a heart-healthy habit that just might steal the number-one spot: napping. Scientists say that taking a nap or two a week is good for your heart. And who wants to complain about that?
Napping is a heart-healthy habit that everyone can get behind. According to scientists, napping one to two times per week combats sleep deprivation and lessens your risk of developing serious health complications, including cardiovascular disease. Excessive napping, however, can counteract the health benefits of napping and may actually harm your health. Learn all about the effects of excessive napping below!
Learn How Many Naps You Need Each Week for Optimal Health!
The Science of Napping
A study that examined the napping habits of 3,462 individuals with no previous history of cardiovascular disease has shown surprising results. According to the study, those who nap one to two days per week had a significantly lower risk — 48% lower — of having a cardiovascular event, such as heart attack, stroke or heart failure.
Nap duration did not seem to influence the results. Everyone included in the study, ranging from those napping for 10 minutes to those napping for more than an hour, enjoyed the same benefits.
How Napping Helps Your Heart
While scientists are not exactly sure how napping improves heart health, they believe that napping reduces stress and the effects of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation affects heart health in a myriad of ways. Lack of sleep can cause high blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, higher BMI, larger waist sizes and an increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
Conversely, adequate sleep can do a lot of good for the heart and has an almost identical — but reverse — effect on your health as not getting enough sleep. Adequate sleep promotes healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, weight loss and a lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
The Problems with Excessive Napping
Yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. And, unfortunately, it’s true of napping. Long daytime naps can disrupt nighttime sleep and your natural sleep patterns, says AARP. What’s more, people who nap on the weekends in an effort to catch up on sleep snack more, which can lead to weight gain and cardiovascular issues.
Napping can help negate the adverse effects of sleep deprivation, which will make your heart healthy and happy. However, it’s possible to take too many naps. The key is to find the napping sweet spot, which scientists say is about two naps per week.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!
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