Zzzzz: You’re Getting Sleepy and Your Heart is Happy

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Here’s a health tip you may have suspected all along. There’s now “official” medical justification for that most pleasant of human activities: your afternoon nap.

In fact, this piece of information belongs squarely in the “listen to your body” category. Your body does love your afternoon snooze. You wake up refreshed and the evening is more pleasant. What a delight!

And now, you don’t have to justify your nap to anybody. Just tell anyone who asks that you’re napping for health reasons. You are simply doing what everyone should be doing: protecting your heart.

Epidemiologists have known for years that the siesta-taking cultures had less heart disease than the rest of us workaholics, but they never followed large groups of nap-takers versus non-nap takers.

The February 2007 Archives of Internal Medicine published a report from researchers in Greece who followed more than 23,000 healthy adult men and women, tracking their napping habits and whether or not they developed heart disease.

The regular nap takers had 37% less heart disease than those who never napped.

This places nap-taking right up there with regular exercise, smoking cessation, and low-fat eating as one of the major lifestyle changes you can make for a healthful longevity.

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