Have a habit of taking afternoon naps? Know if it’s good or bad

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During the day, many like to take naps. In fact, in some of the places, you’ll notice that shops are shut in the afternoon. The reason being they are all taking an afternoon nap. It can be because you didn’t have a good night’s sleep or you had a hectic day or you just want to rest for a bit. Sometimes, you don’t need a reason to take an afternoon nap. We have noticed that after an afternoon nap, we do feel rejuvenated. That’s just one of the benefits of afternoon naps. But sleeping in the afternoon can also be harmful.

To find out whether sleeping in the afternoon is good or bad, Health Shots reached out to Dr. Navneet Sood, a senior consultant – Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine at Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi.

Taking an afternoon nap is often considered a healthy habit. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Benefits of napping

1. Relief from stress

Sleeping in the afternoon has many benefits, including getting relief from stress. Citing a research done in Japan, Dr Sood says that people working at night stay awake for a long time, due to which fatigue increases. Stress level also gradually increases. If this condition continues for a long time, chronic fatigue can worsen. In such a situation, taking a nap during the day can be beneficial to reduce this type of stress.

2. Takes care of fatigue issues

We often get tired by the time morning gives way to afternoon. That’s because our body follows the circadian rhythm. In this, the expert says that the body temperature decreases slightly every 12 hours. It is mainly found in the afternoon, and in such a situation, the person may feel tired. So, taking a nap of not more than 30 minutes can relieve fatigue to a great extent.

3. Afternoon naps help to stay alert

It’s difficult to stay alert during afternoon. Dr Sood shares that it’s called post-lunch dip, which mainly happens between 1 p.m and 4 p.m. During this time, the body temperature decreases slightly, due to which we start feeling lethargic and alertness also decreases. So, a little bit of nap can help to stay alert.

Sleeping in the afternoon is not ideal

People taking afternoon naps is common, but sleeping in the afternoon for a long time can be harmful to health. It can affect your nighttime sleep, so it is important to avoid sleeping for long in the afternoon. Sleeping for long increases the risk of stroke by more than 20 percent, says the expert, backing it by a study of the Medical Journal of American Academy of Neurology. It was revealed that people who take an afternoon nap for more than 90 minutes have a 25 percent increased risk of stroke. It was also revealed in the study that disturbances in cholesterol levels can also be found in the form of loss of more sleep.

Lack of sleep can cause many health problems. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Lack of sleep can cause many problems

Over sleeping isn’t a good habit, but lack of sleep can also cause problems. It’s not just about sleeping in the afternoon, but lifestyle of some people is such that they are able to sleep only for a few hours during night. Doing this can be very harmful for health, warns the expert. Not getting enough sleep can cause diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity and even depression. That’s why we should try to get enough sleep every day.

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