A study from the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland found that occasional napping might reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure in healthy adults.
Regular napping has been associated with improved cognitive function, particularly in older adults. Better cognition and mental alertness can contribute to overall well-being and quality of life.
Napping can lower cortisol levels, which is the body's primary stress hormone. Chronic elevated cortisol levels have been linked to various health issues, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
A short nap can reverse the negative hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep. This can support a more robust immune response, which is critical for health and longevity.
On the flip side, excessive daytime napping might be linked to a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, leading to weight gain, especially if napping results from sedentary behavior.
Long or irregular napping during the day can negatively affect the quality and duration of nighttime sleep. Chronic sleep disruption has been linked to a variety of health issues, including shorter lifespan.
While occasional napping is generally considered beneficial, excessive daytime sleepiness can be a sign of underlying health problems like sleep apnea.
Although napping can be rejuvenating and reduce feelings of sleepiness, over-reliance on naps in some individuals might be linked to feelings of depression or anxiety.