Consider this your excuse to squeeze in a little extra shut-eye on Saturday afternoon. A new study published in the journal Heart found napping can actually come along with some surprising benefits.
Looking at a sampling of about 3,500 healthy adults between the ages of 35 and 75 in Switzerland, researchers at the University Hospital of Lausanne discovered that those who took one to two naps a week were at lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and experiencing stroke or heart attacks. Nap duration didn’t affect these findings—good news for 15-minute and marathon snoozers alike.
To get the best results, make this a habit. We did our own research recently and found that when you start taking regular naps, you can expect to see an improvement in your cardiovascular health after about six months. Consistency is key.
Of course, if you’re not a frequent napper, it can be challenging to fall asleep outside of your regular bedtime, but a few easy changes can help. Ensure your environment is dark and comfortable (close those curtains!), and time your sleep so it doesn’t make it harder for you to doze off at night. Aim for just under 30 minutes, or 90 minutes tops if you want to fit in a whole sleep cycle—a few z’s are all you need to feel your best.