Are you one of those who fall asleep in any corner? Bad news: a study has established a link between this habit and an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, heart attacks and strokes.
This is what the authors point out in an article published in the specialized press. Hypertension, published by the American Heart Association, in which however they also explain that the naps themselves are not the real problem, but rather one more symptom.
Observational study and Mendelian randomization
Previous evidence on this issue it was not conclusivesince if certain studies had agreed to find that the habit of taking frequent naps during the day was linked to a higher cardiovascular risk, others had even observed a certain protective effect against the same disease.
However, this research combines one of the largest observational studies conducted on this question (on a cohort of half a million individuals, whose data were extracted from the study UK Biobank) with the Mendelian randomizationa method that uses genetic markers to determine if a risk factor causes a certain disease.
Thus, they observed that people who slept occasionally during the day had a 7% higher risk than the general population of hypertension, a 12% higher risk of stroke and a 9% higher risk of ischemic stroke. For their part, those who took frequent naps during the day had a 12% higher risk of hypertension, 24% higher risk of stroke and a 20% higher risk of ischemic stroke.
Similarly, they observed that those who took frequent naps during the day were more likely to be male, non-European, older, less educated, lower incomeand with higher body mass and Townsend deprivation indices (a scale to quantify material deprivation) and lower hip-to-waist ratio) than those without.
Symptom of poor rest
Based on these results, the authors hypothesize that the habit of taking frequent naps during the day may indeed be considered a risk factor to develop cardiovascular health problems. However, they acknowledge that the problem probably isn’t with the naps themselves.
Rather, what they argue is that the habit is indicative of an underlying problem that would increase these people’s risk. Specifically, they believe that the habit of taking regular naps during the day is symptomatic that the person don’t rest correctly at night.
Therefore, what they recommend is that these people review their sleeping habits and schedules, looking for factors that could be interrupting or preventing you from resting and that they can modify to improve its quality.