Benefits of Napping
"Our data suggests a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep," said Brice Faraut from the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité in France, who was involved in the research, in a press release. "This is the first study that found napping could restore biomarkers of neuroendocrine and immune health to normal levels."
The researchers looked at 11 healthy men, aged between 25 and 32, who underwent testing in a sleep lab, where light and diet were both strictly controlled.
During one of the three-day sessions, the men were only allowed to sleep for two hours during the night and weren't allowed to nap the next day. But in another session, the subjects were able to take two 30-minute naps the day after being sleep-deprived. They also observed the men when they were allowed to sleep as much as they wanted.
"Napping may offer a way to counter the damaging effects of sleep restriction by helping the immune and neuroendocrine systems to recover," said Faraut in the release. "The findings support the development of practical strategies for addressing chronically sleep-deprived populations, such as night and shift workers."