According to a new study, a short nap can do so much more than boost your energy, creativity, memory and productivity. It can help strengthen your immune system and relieve stress, especially if you are running low on snooze from the night before.
Published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers of the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité in Paris, France looked at the hormones and sleep patterns of 11 healthy men, between the ages of 25 and 32, over the course of two sessions in a sleep lab.
The men were only allowed to sleep for two hours at night, but were able to take two 30 minute naps the following day. Researchers examined the volunteers’ urine and saliva to examine how naps would affect hormones after a night of chronic sleep loss.
It was found that after a night of limited sleep, the men had a 2.5-fold increase in levels of norepinephrine, the hormone and neurotransmitter known for is involvement in the body’s fight-or-flight response to stress. However, no change was found in norepinephrine levels when the men were allow to nap after being sleep deprived.
“Napping may offer a way to counter the damaging effects of sleep restriction by helping the immune and neuroendocrine systems to recover,” explained study co-author Dr. Brice Faraut in a press release. “The findings support the development of practical strategies for addressing chronically sleep-deprived populations, such as night and shift workers.”
The U.S. Centers of for Disease Control has recognized a lack of sleep as a public health epidemic, citing that it increases the risks of vehicle and industrial accidents, as well as reduces our overall productivity.
While napping is a great tool to use to naturally improve you day, consider how much sleep you are getting each night if you are dependent on midday snooze or still feel sleepy afterwards, you may need to tuck into bed earlier each night. For more on why you should nap and how you should do, click here!