Napping and AFib Risk: The Long and the Short of It

8 May 2023 • 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. “Our study indicates that snoozes during the day should be limited to less than 30 minutes,” said study author Dr. Jesus Diaz-Gutierrez.


  • A total of 20,348 participants free of atrial fibrillation at baseline completed a questionnaire every two years
  • Participants were divided into three groups according to their average daily napping duration at baseline: none, less than 30 minutes, and 30 minutes or more.
  • The average age of participants at baseline was 38 years and 61% were women.
  • During a median follow up of 13.8 years, 131 participants developed atrial fibrillation
  • In a multivariate analysis, they found a 42% reduced risk of AF among those who napped for less than 15 minutes, and a 56% reduced risk for those who napped for 15-30 minutes, compared with those who napped for more than 30 minutes.

Dr. Diaz-Gutierrez said: “The results suggest that the optimal napping duration is 15 to 30 minutes. Long daytime naps may disrupt the body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm), leading to shorter night-time sleep, more nocturnal awakening and reduced physical activity. In contrast, short daytime napping may improve circadian rhythm, lower blood pressure levels and reduce stress.”

Source: European Society of Cardiology | Read full story

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