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Naps could be a sign of poor health

Posted at 5:30 PM, Nov 21, 2017

We all get some amount of sleep whether it is at night, in the morning or during the day. 

University of Arizona professor Michael Grandner says there are three types of naps.

First is a power nap which usually is about 15-45 minutes. This helps refresh energy levels and improve reaction time.

The second is a sleep replacement nap. This is when you are in a deep sleep and complete a full sleep cycle to replace lost sleep at night.

The third is a necessary nap. This is when your sleep is poor at night and are napping because you can't stay awake during the day.

Grandner says this type of nap can be a sign of health problems in the future.

"These are naps often tied to poor health, not because of the naps themselves but because it is an indicator you are not sleeping well at night," he said.

He says this could be linked to insomnia or sleep apnea.

"A lot of people with sleep apnea or other conditions that link them up frequently at night wake up in the morning feeling exhausted even if they think they got seven or eight hours of sleep and so during the day they can fall asleep anywhere," he said.

He says sleep is related to cardiovascular and metabolic health regulating our heart, blood vessels, and metabolism.

"There are a number of studies now showing that insufficiency getting 6 hours or less of sleep on average you are more likely to develop high blood pressure, develop diabetes, develop high cholesterol, a number of other conditions are associated with poor health partially because of the important work sleep has to do you don't give it a chance to do," he said.

Sleep apnea is associated with diabetes, hypertension, and problems with the heart. Insomnia is linked to heart disease and other metabolic dysfunctions. 

He suggests a couple tips for people having sleep problems, including putting your phone or any other electronic device away before bedtime.

"You go to bed and wake up at the same time every day for a while eventually your brain is going to learn it is going to start getting sleeping around that time no matter what time," he said. "Use time cues, use the pairing with bed to sleep, use you give yourself a little time to wind down you kept it dark you avoided bright light especially in the blue spectrum all that other stuff you did weighs heavily on all that other stuff you have going on."

His research team is working on developing wearable technology and programs to help people improve their sleep and currently testing them out on student athletes.