NUcheckt: Why is the effect of a short nap on the heart are not known check daily for posts at the level of reliability. Myth: “A nap is good for your heart.”

Verdict: unproven

A variety of websites, including VideoVandaag and a Healthy conceived of in mid-september of that taking a nap is good for your heart. New research shows that people who are in the afternoon and their eyes are as close a nearly 50 percent reduction in the risk of a heart attack. But is it really healthy to take a nap?

Where does it come from?

For the posts of, inter alia, VideoVandaag are based on a Swiss study that, on the 9th of september has been published. The researchers wanted to know whether there is a relationship between daytime short sleep and cardiovascular disease.

In order to investigate this, researchers followed overdue 3,462 Swiss for about five years. At the start of the study, participants had no diagnosed heart or vascular disease. The participants were told the researchers whether they have regular naps were and how long they stayed.

What the researchers found?

In the five years that have followed, there are 155 of times one’s heart, or vaatprobleem for one of the participants. The participants have (almost) every day for a nap, did so, had the very highest risk of heart disease, while people who are only once or twice a week, have a nap, and did, have the lowest risk. Those who do not have a nap, sat among them.

If to take into account the well-known risk factors for heart disease such as smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight, the risk of heart disease among men, one or two times a week, napping is still lower than for those who did not makes us were doing, or people who are just a daily nap.

What is the connection between sleep and heart disease?

But is it really likely that from time to time during the day is short and sleep is good for your heart. Van der Horst, professor of Chronobiology and Health at Erasmus MC, will explain that the disturbance of the biological clock is, in general, has an influence on the risk of cardiovascular disease. The board of Health found, for example, last year, working late at night, the risk of heart disease increases.

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Van der Horst expects that, in addition to during the night, also have a kind of “social jet-lag’ effect on the health of the heart. “Social jet lag occurs when you set the alarm for an early time to get up, then-according to your biological clock to get up, because, for example, you go to work or school.”

“Ochtendmensen there is generally very little trouble, which, in itself, usually, at the time, for example, to a desk job at the. Avondmensen by their biological clock, are often late, thin, and in the morning due to commitments so often early in the morning, and because of this, suffer from social jet lag. There is evidence to suggest that this is just like working at night, the risk of diabetes and heart disease increase.”

No account is taken of the work and the body clock

Van der Horst says that it is for this reason, it is not good that the Swiss researchers are not to be taken with the type of work the participants are doing and whether or not it is in the early morning or avondmensen it.

“Maybe it’s the group of players that don’t nap will still be a lot of avondmensen who are still early on, and there is often a lack of sleep. It would, perhaps, do with a nap, like to do, but come here during the day, the option to not allow it. Conversely, there are in the group of participants and a nap, maybe a lot of people who are naturally a little need to sleep, but here, at home, or at work, or the ability to do so.”

“Take a nap, like to do it, it is a sign that the person has not been slept in, and a social-jet-lag does. Frequently, insufficient sleep increases likely to reduce the risk of heart disease. If you are in need of a daytime sleep, you may want to have to give in and go to sleep. However, it would be even better if you get your sleeping pattern to suit your body clock, and no alarm need more. Then you have during the day don’t need to take a nap.”


A major limitation of the Swiss study is that it does not take into account the type of work people do and their body clock. According to the researchers, it is possible that there are other things that people have to take a nap with a lower risk of coronary heart disease, other than in the day time to sleep by yourself. Previous studies investigating the effect of nap on the heart, and found conflicting results.

Well, long enough to sleep, it is very important for your health, but it is unproven that it will do one or two naps a week, the risk of heart disease decreases.

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