The Power Of The Power Nap


We all have those days where we run on lack of sleep. It makes us unproductive, stressed, inattentive and just plain exhausted. In short, not a good day. But new research shows that a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep, helping to relieve stress and bolster the immune system.

As reported in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the study conducted examined the relationship between hormones and sleep in a group of men who underwent two sessions of sleep testing in a laboratory.

During one session, the men were limited to two hours of sleep for one night. For the other session, subjects were able to take two 30-minute naps the day after their sleep was restricted to two hours. Each of the three-day sessions began with a night where subjects spent eight hours in bed and concluded with a recovery night of unlimited sleep.

An analysis of hormone levels was conducted after each sleep session, and they showed that after a night of limited sleep, the men had a 2.5-fold increase in levels of norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter involved in the body’s fight-or-flight response to stress that increases the body’s heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar. The levels were normal after the subjects were allowed to nap.

“Napping may offer a way to counter the damaging effects of sleep restriction by helping the immune and neuroendocrine systems to recover,” said study author Brice Faraut, PhD, of the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité in Paris, France.

So whether it is 30 minutes or one hour, a power nap during the day can do wonders for your health!


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