DIET AND FITNESS:

Take a Nap in the Afternoon to
Lower Your Heart Disease Risk

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August 24, 2018

By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist



Remember your nursery school routine as a child? You
would have play or learning games, then came lunch, recess
and often an afternoon nap.  As grown ups, we retain moats
of that routine ---working in the mornings, then lunch ---
but few of us continue to take an afternoon nap.  There are
exceptions. Many Spaniards still observe the traditional
afternoon "siesta" before returning to work. Many elderly
Greeks as well as elderly people on some islands such as
Puerto Rico also still take naps in the afternoon.

I have a elderly friend, an 82-year old Argentinian, Beatriz,
who has no organic problems, and who swears by her
afternoon nap.  On youtube, you can also find stories of
elderly in unusually robust health who take naps. Dr.
Ellsworth Wareham is a 100 year-old retired cardiologist
with no signs of heart disease who still looks like he could
pass for 70.  A vegan, Dr. Wareham says he "if I feel like
taking an afternoon nap, I do".

Afternoon Naps Are a Part of the Natural Biological Cycle


Many scientists believe that we are designed to take a nap
within two hours of eating our lunch, a so-called post-
prandial nap.

In fact, studies from around the world have associated naps
during the day with numerous health benefits, including
lower death rates from all causes.



Siestas Lower Your Risk for Coronary Disease by Up to 37%

In 2007, scientists from the University of Athens Medical
School in Greece studied how taking an afternoon nap
affects your risk for heart disease.

They looked at health data on 23,681 people with no history
of heart disease and followed them for over 6 years.

At the end of 6 years, they discovered a clear link between
afternoon napping and heart disease risk.

People who habitually take an afternoon nap had a 37%
lower rates of heart disease than those who do not.

Even people who occasionally take an afternoon nap have a
12% lower risk for heart disease.


You won't find proof of this connection by looking at
coronary rates in Spain. Though siesta is a Spanish tradition,
not everyone follows the traditional ways anymore, and
working patterns similar to those in the Us have taken over.
Now, about 34% of all deaths in Spain are due to coronary
disease. This is higher than countries where afternoon
napping is not practiced such as France, for example, where
28% of deaths are due to heart disease.


The Keys to a Good Siesta  ---26 minutes




























NASA has studied the benefits of napping to astronauts. The
US agency has found that astronauts who take an afternoon
nap are more alert and productive. The ideal length of a
siesta is 26 minutes.

Taking a nap longer than 26 minutes apparently makes you
too groggy, because you slip into a sleep that is too deep.
Taking a deep nap also interferes with your ability to get to
sleep later that night.




Here are some tips experts give for making your afternoon
naps as restful as possible:


1. Block out the light. Wear eye masks to block out the light,
especially if you take your nap at work.

2. Wear ear plugs. Block out ambient sounds with ear plugs.

3. Turn off your cell phone.  In keeping with your game plan
to block out all interruptions, just turn off your phone and
log out of your e-mail.

4. Choose a sofa or comfortable chair. Sleeping on a bed is
not advised, since it encourages you to sleep too deeply.


5. Loosen all clothing around your neck. Loosen neckties and
scarves.


6. Don't keep the room too hot or cold. People often wake
up when the ambient temperature becomes too hot or cold.

7. Set a timer to wake yo up in 26 minutes.
















































































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Breakfast for Arthritis /Healing Foods Links /  Foods That
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