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How Are You with Naps?

By Tom Herrin

What people do with their down time varies widely.  Some become engrossed in electronics while others get out and become active.  Then there are those who just lie down and take a nap.  On the surface, the latter seems like a general waste of time.  It would be natural to assume that those who are napping are wasting valuable time, but those naps may actually play a big role in building good health.  They could be part of a good plan that can have lots to offer.  A nap can fill some surprising needs.

It May Protect Your Heart

Sleep plays a bigger role than many people may realize in their heart health.  A British study found that one night of bad sleep make blood vessels more rigid and increase the risk of heart disease.  It stands to reason that missing out on sleep night after night can potentially wreck health.  On the bright side, blood vessels can return to normal once a person begins to get adequate sleep.  This makes a good case for taking a nap.  For those who seem to have their sleep interrupted often, a nap can be great.

It May Help Prevent Dementia

According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, people who fail to get enough sleep have higher deposits of a plaque in their brain associated with Alzheimer's, called B-amyloid.  It is believed that the brain cleans itself of these plaques while people are asleep.  Sleep appears to be a sort of maintenance time for the brain, in this respect.  A good nap might be a chance for the brain to reboot itself. 

It May Help Keep People Grounded

When we short ourselves on sleep, we risk all kinds of things.  We all know that sleep can revitalize us, but sometimes we fail to think about its role in helping us to stay in touch with reality.  Some research from the University of California at Irvine found that when people deprive themselves of sleep, they risk having a greater chance of having fake memories.  In the study, people reported seeing details in photos that did not exist.  They had only read about them at a different time.  Many of us have had times in which we have been sleep deprived and had a distorted sense of reality as a result.  This confusion can be scary, but naps can turn it around.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Worth, Tex.

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