Will it kill you to take a nap? Maybe…

I always concentrate with my eyes closed…
I always concentrate with my eyes closed…
Image: Reuters/Jason Lee
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An interesting-yet-totally-inconclusive study suggests that napping during the daytime could increase your risk of premature death by a third.

Adults who nap every day are two-and-a-half times more likely to die from respiratory illnesses than those who only sleep at night, because napping can cause inflammation in the body, according to researchers.

The listed caveats are many. The study, which tracked 16,000 British people over the course of 15 years, conceded that nap-death (like waiting “on line”) may also just be a British thing.

Epidemiologic evidence of` the association between daytime napping and mortality is inconsistent and dependent on cultural, environmental, and demographic factors.

Of the 16,000 participants, roughly 3,000 of them died during the fifteen-year period. Along the way, sleeping habits were matched up with the cause of death, at which point the length of naps also became a factor.

After analysing the data, scientists discovered that people who slept for less than an hour in the day increased the chance of death by around 14 per cent. This number rose to 32 per cent if the nap lasted for more than an hour, and was linked to the development of respiratory illnesses, according to the study.

Adding yet more confusion, the chicken-egg dynamic also comes into play. While napping may cause respiratory illness, the study also serves up the idea that a person who naps in the first place may already suffer from a lung disease. And that napping might help them.

So what are partisans in the Nap Wars to do? Hit the snooze button until more research comes out.

In the meantime, those who are angling to nap more, please consult our recently departed napping expert’s explainer on the different ways to nap at work. If you believe he was trying to kill you, feel free to reach him here.

This originally appeared at The Wire. More from our sister site:

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