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User's Manual: Sleep

The Pros and Cons of Napping

So before you curl up on the couch this afternoon, consider whether your quick nap might backfire when you lie down in bed tonight.
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Credit: Corbis

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Trouble sleeping at night

If you have insomnia, naps present a problem, even if you feel tired during the day. Napping during the day can perpetuate bad sleep habits for people with temporary sleep issues caused by stress, illness, or jet lag too.

"Even just a little bit of a power nap reduces your nighttime sleep drive," says Ralph Downey III, PhD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. "The nap becomes nothing more than another episode of fragmented sleep."

Next: Fatigue could be a warning sign

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