Who doesn’t love a good nap? Maybe after a long day you like to come home and kick back on the couch, watch some TV and simply relax. A nap leaves us waking up feeling a little more refreshed than we did before; especially for someone who may not sleep well throughout the night. As we have learned, getting enough sleep is a key component to good health.
Sleep studies are regularly conducted to diagnose problems or disorders such as sleep apnea or insomnia to ultimately improve one’s health. Those who are interested in improved sleep have consistently turned to Austin Air’s products, specifically the Bedroom Machine, as an option for better sleep quality. The idea of having a sounder night’s sleep is something that is OK in my book, and it should be for you too!
Sleep disturbances or sleep dissatisfaction is common among many people. Sleep is a necessary stress coping mechanism; therefore any sleep disruption, or lack of sleep, can cause impairment to one’s motor and cognitive performance. Poor sleep health is heavily tied to sleep disorders.
According to a study done by SLEEP, mid-day naps may have a link to heart risks in both men and women. The study found that taking naps that exceed 60 minutes can cause an increased risk of heart problems, specifically Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). CAD is the most common form of heart disease, typically diagnosed with the symptom of a heart attack. CAD is caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart and other parts of the body. This study was conducted with 4,123 participants consisting of both men and women between the ages of 45-75. The midday nap characteristics were classified by the duration of each nap taken, and the frequency of naps taken throughout the week. All participants reported that if they took a nap during the day, they also reported sleeping at night (not staying up all night).
The duration of a midday nap was simply classified as either short naps (less than 1 hour) or long naps (exceeding 1 hour). The frequency of the midday nap fell under the categories of never, 1-4 per week, 5-6 per week and daily. The participants in this study were also interviewed on their sleep habits along with any disturbances while sleeping, several weeks before the study was conducted. Many of the participants noted difficulties falling asleep at night, nocturnal sleep habits, and numerous other sleep disturbances throughout the night.
A detailed analysis of midday nap habits displayed that habits of irregular naps and naps 60 minutes or less were not associated with these heart risks. It was the regular nap takers who recorded sleeping longer than 60 minutes that were found to be at risk. Long, daily naps were mostly reported by people who had forms of “poor self-perceived” health and periodic depressive natures. Results and follow up of this study found that out of the 4,123 participants, 135 people (3.3%) either had suffered from acute myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, or sudden cardiac death in the average follow-up of 8.1 years after the study being performed.
The thought of an occasional long nap – should not trouble you, but rather gear your thoughts to finding a healthy sleep habit for when you decide to take a midday nap! Naps of 20-30 minute (“short” naps) are the recommended time to notice improved performance and enhance alertness when awakening. Your surroundings are important to your success in falling asleep whether it is a nap, or at bedtime. The room temperature which you rest should be comfortable for you, as well as keeping all noises and amount of entering light to a minimum. So go ahead, put your feet up and take a nap if you are feeling tired. After all, a short nap is in your best interest to ease some stress and keep you feeling energized!