Napping may undoubtedly be one of the favorite hobbies of many people. However, excessive daily napping has been found to influence mortality risk in elderly women. The women, who reported having slept daily, apparently were at a greater risk of dying.
These findings contradict with the earlier studies which had stated that daily napping had beneficial health effects. The findings of the present study were achieved by monitoring more than 8000 Caucasian women. These women aged 69 or above were studied for a period of seven years.
It was discovered that the women who reported to nap daily were about 44 percent more likely to die due to any cause; where they had a 58 percent increased chance of dying from cardiovascular causes and a 59 percent increased chance of dying from non-cardiovascular and non-cancer causes. It is also stated that these statistics remained significant in relatively healthy women.
Those women who reported having slept daily for around 9-10 hours had an increased risk of dying, as compared to those women who slept for about 8-9 hours. The link was said to be the greatest for heart related mortality. In the study it was also noted that those elderly women who napped for less than 3 hours per week did not face an increased risk of death.
Study co-author, Katie L. Stone, says that, “Since excessive sleep suggests that night time sleep is disrupted, interventions to treat sleep disorders and improve sleep quality in older women may reduce mortality risk.”
The study investigators state that these findings should not be misconstrued to mean that napping is directly linked with poor health. They state that napping could take place as a result of an underlying sleeping disorder or other medical conditions.
More detailed studies need to be conducted in order to effectively analyze the link between napping and increased mortality risk.
Their findings are present in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.