Scientist: Naps have benefits -- and risks

March 11, 2013 at 11:42 AM
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MIAMI, March 11 (UPI) -- A Florida sleep-center scientist had this advice for Napping Day, observed Monday: Naps can be helpful, but there could be risks.

Dr. Alexandre Abreu, co-director of the UHealth Sleep Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said naps can be helpful for adults who do not get enough sleep during the night, The Miami Herald reported.

"Sleep is essential for your overall well-being, quality of life, for your mood, for your growth, and also for the prevention of diseases, because the lack of sleep can trigger inflammatory response in your body and can make you more susceptible to infection," Abreu said.

But he warned that taking too long of a nap can lead to grogginess and insomnia. He said the need for a nap could potentially be a sign of disruptive sleep apnea or narcolepsy.

"Take naps because it's cultural, as long as it doesn't interrupt nighttime sleep, or because you have poor sleep and need to perform at driving or work, so you're protecting yourself and others from your sleepiness," he said.

Napping Day was created in 1999 by now-retired Boston University Professor William Anthony and his wife, Camille, as part of efforts to help people adjust after changing their clocks for Daylight Saving Time.

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