Does a poor night’s sleep have you feeling sleepy by midday? Or yawning your way through the morning? Here’s a good excuse to take a nap.

New research has found that the negative health effects of a sleepless night may be remedied by just 40 winks.

In a study involving 11 male participants and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), researchers discovered that those who received only two hours of sleep nightly could combat the hormonal havoc brought on by poor sleep. That’s if they took a couple of brief naps during the day.

Participants had to undergo two sleep sessions in a lab. In the first session, they only received two hours of sleep before having their urine and saliva measured and analyzed for hormonal changes.

In the second, they still received only two hours of sleep, but they also took two half-hour naps the following day.

Sleep crucial for relaxation and better memory

Whenever the men slept for just two hours, they experienced a two-and-half increase in norepinephrine, which is a hormone and neurotransmitter that responds to stress. Such an increase can raise your body’s heart rate and blood pressure significantly. These same men also had low levels of the protein interleukin-6, which is critical for having a proper immune response.
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