Afternoon naps have great benefits to the body, but they also have their disadvantages. It is mostly a matter of balancing the time you spend sleeping at night and the time you spend sleeping in the afternoon. If you slept well in the previous night, your afternoon nap should not be more than two hours long.
The following are five ways in which afternoon siestas are bad for your health.
1. Sleeping late
Taking a nap late in the afternoon or close to your bedtime can seriously disrupt your night time sleep schedule. Your night time sleep schedule is a lot more important than your afternoon naps, and if you nap close to your bedtime, you will find it difficult to sleep during the night. This will also mess up your internal body clock, ruining your sleep cycle for the coming days.
2. Sleep inertia
When you wake up from an afternoon nap, especially a long one, you may find yourself feeling disoriented and dizzy for a while as your brain gets used to its surroundings. This is potentially disadvantageous if you have to do a job that demands a high level of concentration immediately after waking up.
Any time that you oversleep, even at night, you will usually wake up moody and too lazy to do any real work. It is the same with afternoon naps. If you have slept well during the night and then you decide to sleep a long time again during the afternoon, your body will react to it by becoming lazy and fatigued.
4. Reduced life expectancy
A study conducted on elderly British adults showed that afternoon naps tended to reduce life expectancy by as much as 32%. The study followed elderly people in their nineties who took afternoon naps and others that did not take afternoon naps. For over thirteen years, they recorded the deaths that occurred, comparing it their sleeping habits, and finally coming up with a result showing that afternoon siestas reduced life expectancy, especially those that lasted over an hour.
5. Sleep disorders
People with sleep disorders such as insomnia are not advised to take afternoon siestas, because the sleep cycles needed to help ease those disorders are mostly absent in afternoon naps. Instead, sufferers of insomnia are encouraged to sleep during the night, where these sleep cycles are present in abundance.
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