Issue 61 November 2013
3. Be Careful, Longer than 30 Minutes Naps Linked to Diabetes

A study conducted with Chinese participants reported in ‘Sleep Medicine’ Oct, 2013 conclude that those who nap longer than 30 minutes are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. A total of 27,009 participants underwent a physical examination, laboratory tests, and face-to-face interview. They were categorized into four groups according to nap duration (no napping, <30, 30 to <60, 60 to <90, and 90 min).

About 70% of the participants 45 and older reported that they take naps regularly in the afternoon. Impaired fasting glucose, also known as prediabetes, was found to have a positive correlation with the length of naps. As the length of naps increased, the impaired fasting glucose increased.

Patients were split into groups based on how long they napped. It was observed that patients who took naps had higher blood pressure and cholesterol compared to patients who did not take naps.

The authors commented that the increased risk of diabetes might be because the time people took naps could be used to exercise instead. Also sleeping during the day can disrupt the body's circadian rhythm, which can result in higher levels of stress hormone cortisol.

Salient Points
• Impaired fasting glucose increased as naps increased in length.
• Higher blood pressure in patients who took naps.
• Higher cholesterol in patients who took naps.

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