Study finds link between long naps and obesity, high blood pressure

FILE-Image of a man sleeping peacefully. (Education Images/UIG via Getty images)

Naps during the day may seem like an ideal way to recharge your battery, but a new study finds that this could be detrimental to your health. 

A research team discovered people who take midday naps for more than 30 minutes had higher body mass indexes and metabolic syndrome compared to those who did take a short rest. 

The study noted that long naps during the day also can affect sleep quality and cognitive function.

Researchers conducted the study with over 3,000 people between 18–65 years old from a Mediterranean population to determine the relationship between long naps during the day related to obesity and metabolic syndrome. 

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Study results published in the research journal Obesity revealed that people who took naps exceeding 30 minutes were more vulnerable to a higher body mass index, higher blood pressure, and a cluster of other conditions associated with heart disease and diabetes compared to those without naps.

Approximately 35 percent of people in the study are habitual nappers with an average of four naps a week. But only 16 percent took long naps compared to 20 percent taking short naps.

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Researchers noted that taking long naps during the day could affect nighttime sleeping and eating patterns while increasing a person's appetite for lunch and cigarette smoking, making them a higher risk for health issues like high blood pressure.

Moreover, the findings highlight the importance of quality sleep to improve your overall health. 

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.