Regular Naps Linked to Health Side Effect

Regular Naps Linked to Health Side Effect

( – Who doesn’t like a nice afternoon nap? They can help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your busy day. A new study indicates there are other benefits as well.

Researchers at the University of the Republic of Uruguay and University College London recently conducted a study about naps. They wanted to know whether sleeping in the afternoon can impact brain health. The researchers found that people who nap frequently can have healthier brains. The average difference in brain volume between people who nap a lot and those who don’t was equal to 2.6 to 6.5 years of aging.

The participants in the study self-reported their activity. So that could limit the reliability of the results. Valentina Paz, the study’s lead author, said that although there were limitations related to self-reporting, she’s “confident” in the method researchers used.

Dr. Victoria Garfield, a senior author of the study, said that their findings suggest that some people might need to take short daytime naps to “help preserve the health of the brain” as they age.

British Neuroscience Association President Tara Spires-Jones was not involved in the study, but she said even with its limitations, the results were interesting because they add “to the data indicating that sleep is important for brain health.”

The study analyzed brain scans and DNA from more than 35,000 people between the ages of 40 to 69. They got the data from the UK Biobank study that followed people from 2006 to 2010 and provided a wealth of health information. The researchers looked at a piece of genetic code that indicated whether they regularly napped and compared it to similar data from people who didn’t.

Experts generally agree that both short naps and longer ones can be helpful. Remember, the longer you sleep, the deeper you will sleep, which could impact how you feel when you wake up.

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