Turns out, you don’t need to feel so bad about taking your afternoon nap!

Researchers have found that people who have a daytime nap once or twice a week were almost 50 per cent less likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke than those that don’t.

The research team from the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland studied 3,400 people aged between 35 and 75 for an average of five years.

During the five year study, there were a total of 155 heart attacks and strokes.

Study author Dr Nadine Hausler said: ‘This association held true after taking account of potentially influential factors, such as age, and night-time sleep duration, as well as other cardiovascular disease risks, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

‘And it didn’t change after factoring in excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and regularly sleeping for at least six hours a night.’

The research comes from the British Medical Journal, Heart.