Take a Nap, Just Keep it Brief, Says Scientists

Recent studies on napping show that there's nothing wrong with taking a little cat-nap. It's when you snooze for too long, you lose.

Longer Naps Increase Risk of Diabetes

According to a study published in "Science Daily," taking daily naps in excess of an hour might increase one's risk for developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 46 percent. Shorter naps (under 40 minutes) pose no noticeable threat.

What's the Link?

Researchers have not yet figured out why long naps might increase a person's risk of developing diabetes. One idea is that sleeping too long in the daytime can cause poor sleeping at night. Disrupting the body's day and night cycles might be the problem. Scientists have long known that shift workers and sleep deprivation raises people's risks for type 2 diabetes.

How to Nap Properly

You might have thought napping is second nature, but according to the Mayo Clinic, you should follow a few guidelines.

Nap in the early afternoon. Later naps can interfere with your sleep schedule. Let yourself get comfortable in a dark, quiet room-- just as you would at night. Set your alarm for 30 minutes-- napping for longer than that can make you groggy. Finally, give yourself a little time to transition back into your day.

When Not to Nap

If a short nap doesn't refresh you, or if you're having trouble sleeping at night, seek medical advice. Doctors can investigate whether you have a health issue or a sleep disorder.

Photo: Adam Rosante