Everyone knows a nap can refresh. And now a recent study has shown that 30-minute naps also can bolster the immune system and counteract the effects of a poor night’s sleep.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, measured study participants’ hormone levels after a night of eight hours of sleep and a night of only two hours of sleep, according to an article on Yahoo Health. On the night of shortened sleep, their levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that plays a role in the body’s fight or flight response, was 2.5 times higher than the night they slept eight hours.
During the next sleep testing session, the participants followed the same protocol with one major difference—they were allowed to take two 30-minute naps during the day following the night of two hours’ sleep. This time, the norepinephrine levels were restored to normal.