Long daily naps may raise death risk for older adults
Naps can help you feel rejuvenated, but new research from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. suggests that daily napping may not be a good idea for older people. Published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the study found that middle-age and older adults who took long naps on a daily basis increased their risk of dying from respiratory illnesses.
The researchers asked 16,000 people in England about their napping habits from 1998 to 2000. These individuals’ habits were then monitored for the next 13 years. The results revealed that participants between the ages of 40 to 79 who took daily naps for less than an hour increased their risk of death by 14 percent over that 13-year period compared to people who did not nap. Researchers also found that longer naps seemed to raise the risk–people who slept more than an hour increased their risk of death by 32 percent.
These results took into account several variables that contribute to death, such as BMI, fitness level, age, gender and pre-existing medical conditions. The naps were linked to an increase in dying from respiratory diseases, although the reason behind this association is still unclear. The researchers acknowledged that further studies are needed to determine if napping is indeed harmful.