Dogs and cats love to nap. So did Da Vinci, who reportedly got 20 minutes of shut-eye every four hours. So what could be wrong with napping? Apparently a lot—at least, if you scan the published research. If you feel the need to take frequent naps, napping can be a sign of future health problems to come.
Studies have linked regular daytime napping with an elevated risk for type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and death. One 2014 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found napping for an hour or longer each day is associated with a 32-percent spike in mortality risk. So does that mean napping is the new cigarettes? Not even close, says Michael Grandner, Ph.D., director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona. Grandner describes napping as a symptom of a problem—not a problem in itself. “In many cases, people who nap do so because their sleep is poor at night and they can't maintain wakefulness during the day,” he explains. (If you fall into this category, check out our 5 tips to sleep better at night.)