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Smart Living: Long naps may be harmful to your health

2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago Tuesday, April 02 2024 Apr 2, 2024 April 02, 2024 2:39 PM April 02, 2024 in News

Who doesn't love a good nap?

For some, they feel re-energized after some much needed ZZZ's. Well, new research shows napping might be doing us more harm than good.

A nap can help you feel refreshed, but only if you do it the right way.

Adults who take long naps during the day are more likely to have heart disease, diabetes and depression.

They may also have trouble falling asleep at night. But short, daytime sleeps have been shown to make you less drowsy, boost your mood, increase alertness and even improve your memory.

According to researchers at University of California, Berkeley, the best time to nap is right in the middle of your wake cycle.

That means you should try to nap eight hours after waking up in the morning, and eight hours before going to bed at night.

To nap the right way, sleep in an area that's quiet and dark with few distractions. Schedule your sleep in the early afternoon, when your body experiences a natural circadian dip.

Napping after 3 p.m. might make it harder to fall asleep at night.

Also, keep naps short. Ideally, they should be around 20 minutes. 

According to the Sleep Foundation, people who take a nap to boost energy may benefit from drinking caffeine before their slumber.

The brain and body feel the effects of caffeine about 30 minutes after it's consumed. So, caffeine right before a nap may increase alertness when you wake up.

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