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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Is napping good for you? – Ask Doctor K, Harvard Medical School

Is napping good for you? – Ask Doctor K, Harvard Medical School.

Excerpts from the article

 

POSTED NOVEMBER 24, 2011, 5:00 AM
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DEAR DOCTOR K:

As I’ve gotten older I don’t sleep as well as I used to. I’m retired, so I have the time to take an afternoon nap. But I’m worried that if I sleep during the day, I’ll have even more trouble sleeping at night. What do you think?

DEAR READER:

I’m not surprised that you don’t sleep as well as you used to. Our sleep changes as we get older.

After about age 60, we have less deep sleep. We awaken more often and sleep an average of two hours less at night than we did as young adults.

It was once thought that older people didn’t need as much sleep as younger ones. But that’s not the case; we need it just as much. We just have a harder time getting it.

Regardless of age, we typically need seven and a half to eight hours of sleep to function at our best. So if you’re not getting enough sleep at night, what about daytime naps? Or, as you asked, does napping disrupt the sleep cycle? Will napping ultimately lead to less sleep and more daytime drowsiness?

Everybody’s different, and napping is both good and bad, depending on who you are. If you have trouble sleeping nearly every night, and as a result feel tired during the day, napping in the evening is a bad idea. Evening naps make it harder to fall asleep at bedtime. Long naps at any time of day often make you sleep less soundly that night.

On the other hand, suppose you have an occasional bad night’s sleep….

 

 

Read the entire article

 

 

December 9, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , ,

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