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Naps Are Not Just for Babies

By Tom Herrin

How many people take naps everyday?  Most recognize that babies do.  They also think about those who are older dozing off frequently.  Naps may be useful to lots more people than that.  While people tend to rob themselves of sleep with regularity, they may suffer from the effects much more than they realize.  Lack of sleep can do anything from wreak havoc on the brain and its functions to having serious effects on the body.  Sleep is a critical part of everyone's life.  When situations arise that prevent them from getting enough sleep, a nap may be able to do a pretty good job of making up the difference.

It May Help Minimize the Diabetes Risk

In a University of Chicago study, it was found that men who slept only 4.5 hours per day for four days showed a pronounced increase in fatty acids in their blood, which appears to make blood sugar rise, as compared to men who slept for 8.5 hours.  It is believed that once people begin to get a sufficient amount of sleep they will be able to turn this trend around.  Those who are diabetic are often cautioned to get enough sleep.  Taking advantage of a nap here may help head off a diabetic trend.

It May Improve Fitness

According to a Stanford University study, when a group of athletes got more sleep over a three week period, they had noticeable improvements in their physical fitness levels.  They had faster sprint times, better endurance, and a lower heart rate.  It is thought that many athletes fail to get enough sleep to help them to recover from workouts.  It can also interfere with reaction time and may affect moods as well.  The good thing is that a good nap can help to turn all of that around.

It May Help Stave off Dementia

Most of us who have missed sleep have noticed the feeling of confusion we may have.  There may be some significant links.  According to a Johns Hopkins study, people who fall short on sleep may have greater deposits of B-amyloid in the brain.  This is a plaque that is associated with Alzheimer's.  It seems that our brains clean themselves as we sleep.  This being the case, a nap may be able to keep us functioning normally and avoid some of those potential problems with dementia.

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

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