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Afternoon Nap
Tuesday 13th February, 2007 09:29 Comments: 0
Taking 40 winks in the middle of the day may reduce the risk of death from heart disease, particularly in young healthy men, say researchers. A six-year Greek study found that those who took a 30-minute siesta at least three times a week had a 37% lower risk of heart-related death. The researchers in the Greek study looked at 23,681 men and women aged between 20 and 86. The subjects did not have a history of heart disease or any other severe condition. The researchers found those who took naps of any frequency and duration had a 34% lower risk of dying from heart disease than those who did not take midday naps. Those who took naps of more than 30 minutes three or more times a week had a 37% lower risk. Among working men who took midday naps, there was a 64% reduced risk of death compared with a 36% reduced risk among non-working men. There were not enough female deaths to compare figures. The researchers said taking a siesta may reduce stress, hence the more notable finding in working men.

Lead researcher Dr Dimitrios Trichopoulos, from the Harvard School of Public Health, said: "In countries where mortality from coronary diseases is low, siesta is quite prevalent", adding that - if backed by other trials - taking a siesta would be an interesting way of reducing heart disease as it had no side effects. The only important factor was that people should not reduce the amount of physical activity they did in the rest of the day.
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