Napping for an hour or more during the day raises the risk of dying young by a third, a major review suggests.
Researchers say their findings challenge the belief that a siesta is good for health and makes up for lost sleep.
The experts, from Guangzhou Medical University, in China, analysed 20 previous studies involving 313,651 people.
It revealed the 39 per cent of participants who took a nap were 19 per cent more likely to die, rising to 22 per cent among women.
Read Also: Alaafin of Oyo ‘Sends Youngest Wife Packing Over Claims She’s Sleeping With KWAM 1’
Those who snoozed for more than 60 minutes were 30 per cent more likely to pass away. When night-time sleep was taken into account, long naps only increased the risk of death in people who kipped for more than six hours.
Dozing off for an hour during the day was also linked to a 34 per cent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. But shorter periods of shuteye did not increase this risk.
Dr Zhe Pan said: “The results suggest that shorter naps, especially those less than 30 to 45 minutes, might improve heart health in people who sleep insufficiently at night.” He added: “Daytime napping is common all over the world and is generally considered a healthy habit.
“A common view is that napping improves performance and counteracts the negative consequences of ‘sleep debt’. Our study challenges these widely held opinions. If you want to take a siesta, our study indicates it’s safest to keep it under an hour. For those of us not in the habit of a daytime slumber, there is no convincing evidence to start.” The reasons why napping affects the body are still uncertain.
Some studies have suggested long snoozes are linked with higher levels of inflammation which can harm the heart. Others have linked napping to high blood pressure, diabetes and poor overall physical health.Photo Credit: Getty