Midday Napping and Successful Aging in Older People Living in the Mediterranean Region

The Epidemiological Mediterranean Islands Study (MEDIS)

Alexandra Foscolou, Nathan M D'Cunha, Nenad Naumovski, Stefanos Tyrovolas, Loukianos Rallidis, Antonia-Leda Matalas, Evangelos Polychronopoulos, Labros S Sidossis, Demosthenes Panagiotakos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between midday napping, sleeping hours, and successful aging among 2564 older (65+ years) individuals living in the insular Mediterranean region. Anthropometric, clinical, and socio-demographic characteristics, dietary habits, and lifestyle parameters were derived through standard procedures, while successful aging was evaluated using the validated Successful Aging Index (SAI; range 0-10). Of the 2564 participants, 74% reported midday napping. The SAI score was 2.9/10 for non-midday nappers vs. 3.5/10 for midday nappers (p = 0.001). Midday nappers were more likely to be physically active (p = 0.01) and to have higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet (p = 0.02) compared to non-midday nappers. In a fully adjusted model, midday nappers had 6.7% higher SAI score compared to the rest (p < 0.001), and the effect of midday napping was more prominent among males and participants 80+ years of age. Further analysis indicated a significant U-shaped trend between sleeping hours/day and SAI score (p < 0.001), with 8-9 h total of sleep/day, midday napping included, proposed as optimal in achieving the best SAI score. Midday napping seems to be a beneficial habit that should be promoted and encouraged in older people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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