warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Napping Could Be Bad For Your Health

Beatrice Verhoeven |
January 24, 2014 | 1:33 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Blissful as they may be, naps could be harming your health (zeusbox.com).
Blissful as they may be, naps could be harming your health (zeusbox.com).
A recent article published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that daytime sleeping could end up negatively impacting your genes.

Researchers from the Surrey Sleep Research Centre in England had 22 test subjects sleep at night the first day of the test and then had them sleep from noon until 6:30 pm the next day. When taking blood tests afterwards, they found that the subjects' genes had been damaged.

The answer could lie in your genes. Genes are found in every cell’s nucleus, and each gene adds a specific protein to the cell. For those of you that need a refresher, proteins build, regulate and maintain your body. 

The problem with napping is that it can disrupt about one-third of your genes.

Frank Sheer, a neuroscientist at Harvard, told HealthDay.com that “the timing of when proteins are made is important because their production should correspond to our behaviors.”

Napping disrupts the natural body clock, and thus the internal machinery and the energy you need during the day would be working at night while you might be sleeping, and vice versa.

This means that travelers or late-night shift workers who sleep at odd times are putting their health at risk.

Derk-Jan Dijk, a professor of sleep, also told HealthDay.com that shift workers are at a higher risk for various health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, disrupted menstrual cycles, and cancer.

Contrary to this study, Men’s Health said that napping can actually improve your health by lowering diabetes risk. Sleep deprivation leads to a rise in cortisol, which in turn increases insulin resistance. Moreover, a 2008 study showed that a quick 45-minute nap can improve your memory and mental alertness. 

As with every study, there are discrepancies and pros and cons. It could just be up to the individual person, but it seems the best thing to do is take short naps. This is especially crucial if you are someone that struggles with insomnia, because even a short nap can take away your capacity to sleep at night. 

Reach Staff Reporter Beatrice Verhoeven here. Follow her on Twitter



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.