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Taking a Nap Is More Healthy than Lazy

By Tom Herrin

When some people think about taking naps, they think about simply lounging around.  The thought of someone in a hammock or on the sofa may remind people of doing absolutely nothing productive.  It may appear to be the ultimate in sedentary lifestyle.  The truth is that when they are planned and done at the right time, naps can actually make people far more productive and do some positive things for health.  The main thing is to know why they are taking one and schedule the best time for it to be the most useful.

It Could Improve Fitness

People who fail to get adequate sleep are limiting their physical potential.  A Stanford University study found that athletes had faster sprint times, greater endurance, a better heart rate, and more productive workouts when they got more sleep in a three-week period.  Those are impressive results for simply sleeping.  Many people have wondered exactly what sleep does, but one thing is for sure.  It seems to clean the brain.  While everyone's mother likely told them that sleep would help them to do better, this study seems to confirm that idea.

It May Improve Learning Ability

Apparently taking a nap after learning something can be five times more effective than staying awake.  A German group of researchers found that somehow there is a relationship between the the brain's ability to slip into a certain level of something less than conscious and the ability to remember.  For years, there has been talk about people listening to something while they are asleep and being able to retain it.  These findings make one wonder about the potential.  It is certainly one of those things that is difficult to explain, but it may be worth experimenting with.

It May Help with Weight Management

According to a Stanford University study, when we are sleep deprived, our bodies produce more of a hormone that makes people want to eat more.  Our bodies also produce a hormone called leptin that lets us know when we are full.  When we fail to get sufficient amounts of sleep, we don't produce enough of this hormone.  The obvious result is that when we  don't get enough sleep, we end up feeling more hungry.  Without a doubt, we can't lie around all day, but a nap that is planned can make a positive difference in our health.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brentwood, Calif.

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