Butter might not be killing you anymore, but it appears your cherished mid-afternoon power nap is just a precursor to your slow, inevitable, too-soon demise. Or so says a new soul-crushing study, which claims that daytime nappers are almost a third more likely to die before hitting age 65.
The study, helmed by a research lab at the University of Cambridge, followed 16,374 British men and women over the course of 13 years. Over 3,000 of those subjects died in that period, and researchers noticed that the daytime snoozers who napped for less than an hour were 14 percent more likely to die young than those who eschewed naps. And those who nodded off for more than an hour during the day were 32 percent more likely to die before age 65 than non-nappers.
Researchers noted that napping can trigger inflammation in the lungs, and hour-plus nappers were twice as likely to develop respiratory and bronchial problems than their peers, which may account for the early deaths. But napping itself might not be the culprit, as per the report: "It remains plausible that napping might be an early sign of system disregulation and a marker of future health problems." Short naps have also been associated with stress-relief and better heart health, so those could still be okay. "The findings actually show that the great majority—about 85 per cent—of those people who napped less than one hour were at no greater risk," sleep research professor Jim Horne told the Daily Mail.
Earlier this year, sleep researchers claimed even long naps were better for increased productivity and cognitive ability. Now it appears all the people who followed that advice could drop dead immediately, or something. We'd suggest pairing this sad, confusing news with a whiskey shot, but that will also kill you right away. Humankind should give up already.