Luckily I don’t have to give sleep much thought. I’m always out like a light after a long day. And I usually don’t take naps unless they’re under a palm tree and I can hear the sound of the ocean nearby.
But a lot of my patients aren’t so fortunate. For them, the tug of war between nighttime insomnia and daytime sleepiness is constant. To the point that the quest for quality sleep completely takes over their lives.
It’s a vicious cycle. And it won’t just drive you crazy… it could eventually kill you, too.
I know I’ve touched on this topic here before. But today, I want to talk about the results of a brand new study. One that shows that excessive daytime fatigue and long naps send your risk of metabolic syndrome skyrocketing.
And let me remind you that metabolic syndrome is nothing to brush off. Just to recap, this condition involves a constellation of problems — high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, abdominal obesity, and high blood sugar.
And together, they ratchet up your risk of heart disease and diabetes dramatically.
I’m not sharing this news just to freak you out. A lot of perfectly healthy people take naps — and the occasional siesta isn’t always bad news. (I’ll return to that in a minute.)
But in light of this research and other studies like it, I do want you to stop and think about how long you’re snoozing in the middle of the day. And here’s why…
In this study, the relationship between napping and metabolic risk was “J-shaped.” This means subjects who napped fewer than 40 minutes suffered no increased health risks. But when daytime naps tipped over that threshold?
That’s when the problems really started.
When naps lasted longer than 40 minutes, metabolic risk took a very sharp upswing.
In fact, subjects who routinely clocked 90-minute naps saw their risk of metabolic syndrome rise by as much as 50 percent.
Not surprisingly, excessive daytime tiredness had the same effect. (Why else would anyone need a 90-minute nap?)
An earlier study by the same researchers — published in the journal Sleep last June — revealed terrifyingly similar results. In that study, the team found that napping longer than an hour raises the risk of heart disease by more than 80 percent. And the risk of death by any cause by nearly 30 percent.
Likewise, other data the team collected demonstrated that chronic fatigue rockets diabetes risk by 56 percent. And that naps lasting longer than an hour raise this risk by 46 percent.
These are not small percentages by any stretch of the imagination.
But before you swear off naps altogether, consider the fact that all of these studies also showed an interesting “Goldilocks effect.” Naps shorter than 30 minutes delivered modest protection, in all instances, across the board.
So if you find taking a short “power” nap helps you recharge your batteries, by all means, go ahead and get some mid-day zzz’s. But do yourself a favor and set an alarm so that you don’t sleep for longer than half an hour.
And don’t use naps of any kind as a substitute for a good night’s sleep.
Because as this research so clearly shows, that could be a lethal mistake.
It’s easier said than done, I realize. But that’s why I’ve devoted so much time in recent years to uncovering all of the natural, drug-free sleep solutions I can find. In fact, in the current issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives, I shared details on one of the most exciting new sleep discoveries I’ve come across in years.
So if you haven’t subscribed yet — and especially if you’re among the one-in-three Americans who just can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep — consider signing up today. You really don’t want to miss this.