We've all been told at least once that a nap will ruin our sleep at night, or that it won't help us catch up on sleep that we lost the night before. Well, science is here to tell us otherwise!
In a small study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), researchers found that even if men get only two hours of sleep the night before, they can make up for their tired brain by taking a couple of small naps.
To reach these results, the men had two sleep sessions in a lab. In the first, they only got two hours of sleep and then had their urine and saliva measured and analyzed for hormonal changes. In the second session, the men did exactly the same thing, but this time they also took two 30-minute naps the following day.
The study found that when men didn't nap, they had an increase in norepinephrine, a hormone which responds to stress. That increase can up the body’s heart rate and blood pressure. However, when the men napped, the researchers found there were no changes in their hormone/stress levels.
According to the researchers, the findings suggest that taking a nap can restore out-of-whack hormone levels, and improve immune system health!
But to avoid the sluggishness that can come from from not getting enough sleep, try to get the recommended amount every night!