Too many sleepless nights starting to mess with your mojo? It’s no secret that a good nap can melt away the day’s troubles, but a quick bout of shut-eye may be able to undo the damage that those sleepless nights is doing to your health, new research suggests.
It’s possible that the negative effects of bad sleeping habits can be reversed by taking a nice, cozy nap, according to researchers in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM.)
For the study, researchers looked at the sleep data of 11 healthy men who did two sleep sessions in a lab. The first session involved the men only getting two hours of sleep and the second session involved the same two hours of sleep but paired with two 30-minute naps the following day. The participants provided both urine and saliva samples which were analyzed for hormonal changes.
For the men who only slept for two hours and did not take any naps the next day, the researchers saw an increase in the body’s heart rate and blood pressure and low levels of the protein critical for having a proper immune response. When compared to the men who napped the following day, the researchers found there were no changes in either their protein or hormone levels.
The research suggests that taking a nap could reestablish healthy hormone levels, and improve immune system function.
The amount of sleep you need depends on your age and your lifestyle according to the newest recommendations released by the National Sleep Foundation. The recommendations for children aged 6 to 13 is anywhere from 9 to 11 hours of sleep and for teenagers aged in the 14 to 17 range the recommendation is to 8-10 hours sleep. For those aged 18 to 25 the ideal sleep range is from 7 to 9 hours, and the same goes for adults aged 26 to 64. The ideal sleep time for those aged 65 and over is 7 to 8 hours.