Is it bad for your health to take frequent naps?

Photo courtesy CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) – Many of us relish the opportunity for an afternoon nap, but can those catnaps be hazardous to your health? We have the details of a new study that may have you looking more carefully at that mid-day snooze.

There’s nothing wrong with a nap from time to time. However, here’s a warning from the experts; if you feel you are always tired and turn to naps all the time, it may be the sign of larger health issues.

Cambridge University tested nappers and non-nappers and they found that people who napped more than an hour or more each day were 32% more likely to die early during the 13-year study.

Researchers found the frequent nappers had a greater risk of death by heart disease, cancer and respiratory illness, among other causes.

It is important to note as well, that the results remained the same even after the researchers adjusted for age, sex, educational level, body mass index, physical activity level, smoking, alcohol intake, and other preexisting conditions.

The researchers say this does not prove that naps lead to death, just that there is a connection. They suggest the results may show a link between an undiagnosed health problem, that could cause someone to be tired, and the chronic napping.

This means if you feel you are tired all the time and are augmenting your sleep with naps, you might want to see if there is a larger health problem brewing.

Now, not all naps are bad or indicative of poor health. Many experts see the benefits to occasional napping and say that 30 minutes is best.

However, you should listen to your body and if you are consistently feeling tired and in need of frequent naps, it may be a good idea to bring it up with your doctor.

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