NOW LIVE: Eyewitness News

Health: Feel Sleep Deprived?

View Comments
stephanie-web Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 and The CW Philly 57’s Emmy Award-win...
Read More

CBS Philly (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSPhilly.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSPhilly.com/Health

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many Americans struggle with feeling tired, needing a nap.  One researcher says something that may happen during a nap could be a clue to whether you’re actually sleep deprived.  3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl explains.

In a bed or on a bench, even on the subway you can see people taking a snooze.

Research shows there are clear benefits to some quick shut eye.

“It can help you compensate for a lifestyle of reduced sleep at night, not getting enough sleep at night.  Make your alertness better.  It can improve your memory,” said David Dinges, a Sleep Researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.  He says naps can also be counterproductive, people should be strategic.

“You have to understand that you’re taking a dose of sleep.  You have to think about it the way you might consume a dose of food, and then you don’t want to overeat and you don’t want to under eat,” said Dinges.  He says the ideal time for nap is generally between 1 and 4 pm.  Napping later can interfere with nighttime sleep.  He says for a quick boost of alertness 10 to 20 minute power naps work best.

And to help with memory 60 minutes of snoozing may do more good.  The downside, a longer nap can leave you groggy.

“It can take as much as 20, 30 minutes to overcome.  It’s best to get light on you and move around and take a shower or drink coffee to overcome it,” said Dinges.

Naps can help you re-charge, but they can also be an indication that you’re sleep deprived.  We spoke with Stanford University Sleep Experts Dr. Rafael Pelayo.

“When you take a short nap, normally you should not be dreaming.  If you’re dreaming during a nap that means you’re not getting enough sleep overall,” said Dr. Pelayo.

Experts say it doesn’t matter where you nap, but to avoid a deep sleep it’s best to sit slightly upright.  And for people with sleep conditions, like insomnia or sleep apnea, napping isn’t recommended.

View Comments
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32,495 other followers