Daytime napping for 30 minutes or longer is associated with an increased likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation, according to research presented at ESC Preventive Cardiology 2023, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1
“Our study indicates that snoozes during the day should be limited to less than 30 minutes,” said study author Dr. Jesus Diaz-Gutierrez of Juan Ramon Jimenez University Hospital, Huelva, Spain. “People with disturbed night-time sleep should avoid relying on napping to make up the shortfall.”
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting more than 40 million people worldwide. People with this arrhythmia have a five times greater risk of stroke than their peers. Dr. Diaz-Gutierrez said: “Previous studies have suggested that sleep patterns may play a role in the development of atrial fibrillation, but as far as we know this was the first study to analyse the relationship between daytime napping and risk of the arrhythmia.”
The study used data from the University of Navarra Follow-up (SUN) Project, a prospective cohort of Spanish university graduates. A total of 20,348 participants free of atrial fibrillation at baseline completed a questionnaire every two years. Information was obtained on sociodemographics (age, sex, working hours), medical conditions (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnoea, cardiovascular diseases including atrial fibrillation), lifestyle (napping, smoking, exercise, coffee intake, binge drinking, adherence to a Mediterranean diet, TV watching), height and weight.