In Britain, we tend to associate afternoon naps with babies, but they are not just for children! They are also recommended for adults, also in the early afternoon. However, certain conditions need to be upheld in order for the nap to be truly restorative. Here they are!
The ideal duration for a restorative sleep
Four researchers in the University of Tokyo showed that naps that last more than 60 minutes a day significantly increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers estimated that the risk was increased by 45%.
Type 2 diabetes counts for 90% of cases of diabetes. The body is incapable of regulating the levels of sugar in the blood and if left untreated, this can cause serious health problems, such as blindness, cardiovascular problems, or reduced sensitivity of the nerves.
According to the study, a 40 to 60 minute nap does not increase the risk of diabetes, but the risk progressively increases from 60 minutes onwards.
A nap will not make you put on weight
In other areas, researchers compiled 21 studies carried out on more than 300,000 people, and concluded that there is no link between the duration of naps and the risk of being overweight.
In any case, the Tokyo study did not prove that daytime naps of over 60 minutes cause diabetes. It showed that there is an association between the two phenomenon that requires further study.
According to the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, there may also be an inverse causal link, meaning that the desire or need to have a nap during the day could be caused by undiagnosed diabetes.
Recommendations for an optimal nap
- Lie down in a comfortable position, in a calm place, if possible.
- Don’t nap in the complete darkness, because this may send the message to your body that it is night time, and the body may go into a deep sleep. This could affect your body clock and could also make you seriously late for your next appointment!
- Set an alarm to wake you in 60 minutes time, at the latest.
- Obviously, if you are at work, make sure you don’t exceed your allocated break time….