Sleep Is Not Always Good for Health: Long Naps and Daytime Sleepiness Harmful


Those who take long naps or feel excessively tired during the day are at an increased risk of metabolic syndrome which are high cholesterol, accumulation of fat around the waist, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Even napping for 40 minutes is enough to cause all these conditions that increase the chances of developing heart disease.

The study involved analysing 307,237 Asian and Western individuals, as well as gathering previous data from earlier studies. These participants were asked questions such as: “Do you have a problem with sleepiness during the day,” and queries on their napping habits by answering questions like “Do you take a daytime nap” or “Do you sleep during the day.”

Being tired during the day and napping a minute beyond 40 minutes increases the risk of metabolic syndrome. A total of ninety minutes of nap increased the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorder by up to 50 percent.

Father and his baby taking a nap. Photo from Pixabay/PublicDomainPictures

Father and his baby taking a nap. Photo from Pixabay/PublicDomainPictures

They found that those who napped for less than 40 minutes were not at risk of developing metabolic syndrome and those who napped for less than 30 minutes experienced a risk reduction for the disease. The team, however, did not find an association between napping and obesity.

Apparently, this new study supports the same researchers’ 2015 findings of the 82 percent increased cardiovascular risk from napping longer than an hour, as well as the 27 percent increase in all-cause death. Moreover, they found that napping more than hour increased the diabetes risk by up to 46 percent and tiredness increased the same disease risk by up to 56 percent.

Nevertheless, all of their studies concluded that napping can cause health problems. Still, they admit that more studies are required to verify these results. They recommend further investigation about the consequences of short naps on cardiovascular health.

Sleep is an important component of our healthy lifestyle, as well as diet and exercise,” asserts lead author Tomohide Yamada, a diabetologist at the University of Tokyo. “Short naps might have a beneficial effect on our health, but we don’t yet know the strength of that effect or the mechanism by which it works.”


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