Hearty dose of nanna napping

NEXT time you settle down for your "nanna nap", take heart: it could be good for you.

Swiss researchers put nanna naps to the test, looking at the association between a napping frequency and average nap duration and the risk of heart attacks, stroke or heart failure.

And guess what? They found that occasional napping - once to twice weekly - was associated with an almost halving in heart attack, stroke and heart failure risk compared to those who didn't nap at all.

Don't you just love research!

Their findings held true even when other factors such as age, nighttime sleep duration, high blood pressure and cholesterol were taken into account. The only factors that did affect the findings were being aged over 65 and having severe sleep apnoea.

The research had almost 3500 participants and while it was an observational study only, it points to the merits of continuing research on this line.

And just for the record, the most frequent nappers (three to seven a week) tended to be older, male, smokers, weigh more and to sleep for longer at night.

Nanna naps? Maybe it's time to coin a new phrase. I'm open to suggestions: cfield@thesenior.com.au