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The Best Health May Be Supported by Naps

By Tom Herrin

A lot of people allow themselves to fall short on adequate sleep in order to get ahead.  The question may be exactly what do they get ahead of?  Surely the most critical thing for anyone to try to achieve is good health.  When they skimp on sleep, they are putting their health at risk of suffering from all kinds of things.  It has long been known that sleep is an important part of preserving health.  Since there are times when good sleep may be less than possible, some other things can help.  A good nap is one of the best ways to counter that.  It can also do more.

It May Help Prevent Overeating

When people are missing sleep, they tend to overeat without realizing the cause.  According to a study from Stanford University, when people are short on sleep, their body will produce more of the hormone gherkin.  It tells people when to eat more.  Lack of sleep will also cause the body to cut production of the hormone leptin.  This tells them when they are full.  The combination makes them overeat.  This can be changed in a short period of time, however, by people getting more sleep.  This is where a nap can be helpful.

It May Help Deter Chronic Diseases

A  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that when people sleep less than six hours per night, they have a greater chance of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.  It is believed that part of the reasons for this may be that people who sleep less are stressed, and this may contribute to more chronic health issues.  A nap may be the right thing to help balance these things out.

It May Help You Have Better Attention

Let's face it, we all know that when we are tired, we often had difficulty focusing.  A University of California, Berkeley study found that the more hours we are awake, the more trouble we have maintaining a clear mind.  Those participants in the study who took naps were able to have better focus later in the same day.  While it may seem like something we all may have thought, it puts hard data behind it.  Taking a nap may be much more than a way of lounging around, it may be a great way to sharpen our minds and bodies.  

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

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