Siesta is still practiced by some of us up to now. We take a break after lunch to take a nap to recharge and be back to work in the afternoon feeling fresh. But is this practice really healthy or can it cause harm instead?
A new study published in Sleep has this to say:
Study Objective: Intentional napping is very common, particularly in China. However, there are limited data regarding its potential health effects. We therefore examined the possible relationship between napping and type 2 diabetes.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study.
Setting: Community-based elderly association in Guangzhou, China.
Participants: 19,567 Chinese men and women aged 50 years or older.
Measurements and Results: Self-reported frequency of napping was obtained by questionnaire and type 2 diabetes was assessed by fasting blood glucose and/or self-reports of physician diagnosis or treatment. Participants reporting frequent naps (4-6 days/week and daily) were 42% to 52% more likely to have diabetes. The relationships remained essentially unchanged after adjustments were made for demographics, lifestyle and sleep habits, health status, adiposity, and metabolic markers (odds ratio for diabetes 1.36 [95% CI 1.17–1.57] in 4-6 days/week, 1.28 [1.15–1.44] in daily nappers). Similar associations were found between napping and impaired fasting glucose. Removal of those with potential ill health and daytime sleepiness did not alter the observed associations.
Conclusions: Napping is associated with elevated prevalence of diabetes and impaired fasting glucose in this older Chinese sample. Our finding suggests that it is less likely that diabetes leads to daytime sleepiness. This raises the possibility that napping may increase the risk of diabetes. Confirmation by longitudinal studies is needed.
In the study approxiametly 2/3 of the napper took a nap just like everyopne else i.e. around 1 hour after lunch and usually lasts around 60 minutes.
So I guess the population is really well represented as this is the usual behaviour of a typical napper.
What is important is that the longer and more frequent one naps, the higher the risk of developing diabetes.
The study confirms previous studies from the US and Germany regarding the association of napping and diabetes as well as all cause mortality or death. Imagine trying to take a break to feel better and instead cuts down on your life span. Something to think about!
In Short: Napping may not be safe or healthy after all!!!