Do you Lack Sleep? Two Catnaps a Day Will Do the Trick of Making You Tick, According to Study

If you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, you don’t have to worry about getting drowsy or lack of energy the next day, according to a French research team. A short sleep will take care of everything. Their point is backed up by a study they conducted on a few male participants

It’s bad enough if you haven’t eaten your breakfast, but if you missed your usual number of nightly winks, that’s even worse, or is it? Hunger can be satisfied anytime you want to do it. A piece of candy or chocolate will help a lot in holding the fort until coffee time. Problem over.  But how about lack of sleep? Do you have to wait until you go home to get some? What happens in the meantime?

It was believed that a lack of sleep can affect your body metabolism by upsetting your hormone’s usual flow cycle, messing with your flow of thoughts. However, according to a new study, there’s no truth to this. They added that there are no long term bad effects connected to a lack of sleep and whatever ill effects it brings you are just temporary.

“Our data suggests a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep,” says Brice Faraut, PhD, of the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité in Paris, France. “This is the first study that found napping could restore biomarkers of neuroendocrine and immune health to normal levels.”

Faraut and his colleagues started the research by evaluating hormonal reaction to lack of sleep of the 11 healthy men whose ages are from 25 and 32 using a crossover, randomized system.

The volunteers were confined in a lab where meals including the amount of light they received were strictly controlled. In the first phase of the experiment, the volunteers were only allowed to sleep for 2 hours the entire night. The volunteers’ urine and saliva were afterwards subjected to lab analysis.

The results showed they had a 2.5 times increase in the production of norepinephrine, the hormone which is involved in sudden short term reaction to danger also called the fight, flight and froze response. It increases heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar content. On the other hand, Levels of interleukin-6 hormones goes down after volunteers’ lack of sleep. It’s the hormone that helps strengthen the body’s immune system.

After the volunteers were allowed to complete their sleep, the hormone levels returned to normal. The researchers then repeated the experiment, the second phase, but this time the volunteers were allowed to take two 30-minute catnaps the following day. There were no changes in the levels of both the norepinephrine or interleukin-6 hormones.

“Napping may offer a way to counter the damaging effects of sleep restriction by helping the immune and neuroendocrine systems to recover,” says Faraut.

Faraut’s study was published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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