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Do You Take Naps?

By Tom Herrin

Sometimes, some of the simplest things pass people by.  Lots of times, people do something naturally with no real plan or intentions.  Some of them can do some good things for their health and some may do otherwise.  Most people end up taking naps, though it may be unintentional.  Those who simply fall asleep without trying may have some other issues or risks.  A planned nap can actually be pretty productive.  They are not just for children but, if planned correctly, can help to be part of building better health.  The key word here is planned.  If they are unplanned, people may need to make some adjustments to their daily routine.

It Can Protect Against Weight Gain

According to a study at Stanford University, when people lack sleep, they eat more.  This is for a couple of reasons.  When they lack sleep, the body will produce more of the hormone gherkin, which makes people want to eat more.  It also lowers the level of the hormone leptin, which lets them know when they are full.  While the logical mind may think that they are awake more and thus burning more calories, it is quite the opposite.  Those naps can go good with a good diet.

It Can Protect the Heart

A British study found that just one night of poor sleep can cause blood vessels to stiffen.  It should follow that those who deprive themselves of sleep on a regular basis are placing themselves at risk of cardiovascular problems.  On the other hand, the same study found that the situation can be reversed by people getting enough sleep.  This speaks well for naps.  When people are sleep deprived, those well-placed naps may help their bodies to recover.  It is another case in which a plan may make the difference.

It May Help Avoid Dementia

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that there is a correlation between lack of sleep and Alzheimer's.  While the job of sleep is sometimes considered to be somewhat of a mystery, it is believed to help to cleanse the brain in a way.  I am one of those who has had a tendency to push the limit a little too much by going without sleep too often.  I have certainly found that naps can help me to feel revitalized and function much more efficiently.  The bottom line is that naps can play a vital role in protecting our health even if they are only a few minutes at a time.  

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

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