Longer Naps may Do more Bad than Good to your Body

Sleep scientists have been suggesting for a while that taking long naps isn’t the best way to get your extra rest. Nodding off for 15-20 minutes during your lunch break will make you feel more awake and focused for the rest of the day, but spending your whole break napping might actually mess up your energy and rhythm.

Whether you’ve heard before and believed the claim against long naps that we’ve just mentioned or not, this new research might actually make you want to cut down on your sleep during the day.

According to a new study, long naps may be linked to heart problems and even diabetes. The research focused on people who reported high levels of fatigue during daytime and who napped for more than an hour each day.napping Those people were found to be an alarming 50% more likely to develop a form of diabetes than those who slept for shorter periods during the day or didn’t have a nap at all.

If the idea of these people developing diabetes wasn’t dreadful enough, they were also found to be 30% more likely than others to develop metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of conditions that are known to be risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes.

It is important to note that, though the subjects who napped for longer periods tended to also present either the conditions or the risk factors, it was impossible to establish a cause-effect relation, so it is also impossible to ascertain whether the two influenced each other.

A possible explanation for this link is, however, that the need for these naps and the added fatigue are actually a sign of an undiagnosed condition such as sleep apnea. This disruption in your sleep patterns can cause a snowball effect in your body brought on by stress and the excessive production of cortisol, which in turn can spike your blood pressure and sugar levels and may lead to the development of the metabolic syndrome.

So while all of this is pretty much hypothetical information, the doctors behind this study suggest that the best way to avoid these risk factors is to try and sleep no less than 7 hours a night, even if not consecutively, in order to avoid having to take naps during the day.

It is also not completely unclear whether taking shorter naps still puts you at risk, but if you find that you need them even after sleeping the recommended amount of time each night, then that is definitely a good reason to make a doctor’s appointment.