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When You Are Short on Sleep, Take a Nap for Health

By Tom Herrin

While people tend to skip on sleep quite a bit, it can be pretty detrimental to health.  Trying to stretch the day by getting less sleep can actually be harmful to health.  On the other hand, there are many times when people have to push themselves and have little choice.  When it turns out that this is the case, finding some way to recover some of that lost sleep is critical.  One of the best ways to do this is simply to take a nap.  It can do far more for maintaining health than most people realize.

It May Help Manage Appetite

People have to eat, so they get hungry.  It is not, however, that simple.  Much of this hunger is controlled by body chemistry.  When people go without sleep, they may struggle with a desire to eat more.  According to a Stanford University study, failing to get enough sleep can cause increased production of the hormone gherkin.  This hormone makes people want to eat more.  Lack of sleep also reduces production of the hormone leptin.  This one tells people when they are full.  A nap may be able to put these back to normal, slowing down that appetite.

It May Protect the Heart

Sleep deprivation can cause some potential problems for the heart.  A British study found that one night of poor sleep can cause blood vessels to lose flexibility.  This can lead to heart disease.  It is a classic scenario that has led to disastrous results for some.  The other side of that is that a nap can restore that ability of the blood vessels to expand when needed.  It is best to avoid going without sleep, but if it happens, a nap can put people back on the road to good health.

It May Improve Focus

Most of us have had the experience of having been tired and struggled with clear thinking.  When we don't have enough sleep, we may even see things that are not there.  We may have trouble separating reality from imagination.  I have certainly had that happen to me when I have gone without sleep for too long.  A nap can turn that around.  If you want to preserve your health, don't push yourself beyond that point of excess.  Stop and take a short nap.  Only a few minutes may be all you need.  It can do wonders.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Englewood, N.J.

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