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Napping Is Good For Your Heart

By Randi Morse

I come from a family that promotes hard work over everything else, so the idea of taking a nap was absolutely absurd. When I had young children I realized that if I slept when they napped I was in much better shape for the rest of the afternoon. As adults we are told that we don't need a nap, but it turns out that napping may actually be very good for your health.

The Nap Study

In a study that was published in the British Medical Journal, researchers who followed over 3,500 people during a five-year period. The participants were asked to report on how often they napped and how long their nap was for. The study also asked them regular questions about their heart health. At the end of the study, 155 participants reported that they had heart issues while the researchers learned that there was a significantly lower risk of heart problems for the subjects in the study who napped regularly once or twice a week. While this is only one study, scientists are recognizing that napping regularly may have a variety of health benefits. 

Tricks to Napping

Have you ever taken a nap only to wake up feeling even more groggy than you did before you went to sleep? It turns out there is a science and a trick to napping correctly.

Length of the nap - One of the reasons you may feel groggy after your nap might be because you napped too long. Studies have shown that in order to get the most out of a nap you need to sleep less than 30 minutes. Even a 10-minute nap can help boost your brain function and wake you up.

Time of the nap - If you nap too late during the day you may have problems going to bed that night. That's why it's a good idea to not nap any later then 2:30 in the afternoon.

Coffee before the nap - This might sound counterproductive but studies have shown that if you drink a cup of coffee right before your nap you will actually wake up even more alert. This is because it takes about 25 minutes on average for you to feel the effect of the caffeine, and if you take a 30-minute nap you will wake up much more alert.

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

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