Wellness Matters

Short Nap May Relieve Stress and Bolster Immune System

March 17, 2015


It’s not the Spanish-style, two-hour siesta, but a recent study shows that a short nap can have tremendous benefits.

The study results, published recently in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, show that a 30-minute nap relieved stress and bolstered the immune system of men who only slept two hours the previous night.

"Our data suggests a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep," said one of the study's authors, 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."

Lack of sleep is recognized as a public health problem. Insufficient sleep can contribute to reduced productivity as well as vehicle and industrial accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, people who sleep too little are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.

The study has some critics who note that the study only included a small sample. The authors acknowledge that their work is a start. They also don’t recommend longer sleep periods, and caution that people who suffer from insomnia shouldn’t take daytime naps.

For now, nighty night. See you in 30 minutes.

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