Taking Afternoon Naps May Cause Early Death

June 6, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. premature [pree-muh-CHOO R] (adj.) – happening or occurring sooner than expected
Example: One of the major causes of premature death is excessive alcohol consumption.

2. imply [im-PLAHY] (v.) – to suggest or point out a result, often in an indirect way
Example:  The results may imply that lack of sleep affects one’s mood.

3. doze off  [dohz awf ] (v.) – to sleep for a very short time
Example: After lunch, I usually doze off in the sleeping quarters.

4. underlying [UHN-der-lahy-ing] (adj.) – referring to true or fundamental information that is not directly stated
Example: The underlying cause of the disease is found to be poor hygiene.

5. prompt [prompt] (v.) – to cause or to trigger something
Example: The dengue outbreak prompted an increase in the number of patients in the local hospital.


Read the text below.
Taking an afternoon nap may be causing more harm than benefits, a recent study revealed.

Researchers at Cambridge University conducted a 13-year longitudinal study involving 16,000 British men and women. The study was conducted in the late 1990s, during which the volunteers gave information about their sleeping habits.

After 13 years, the researchers were able to record 3,000 deaths out of all the volunteers. The major causes of these deaths were respiratory diseases. Experts explained that dozing off frequently in the afternoon could either imply or result in underlying health risks such as bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, and other lung diseases.

People who nap for more than an hour daily also have a higher risk of dying due to respiratory diseases than those who doze off for less than an hour. Results also showed that taking a nap for one hour or more increases the risk of premature death by 32%. But if the nap lasted for less than an hour, the risk of death goes down to 14%. Researchers believe that this finding may be because napping prompts inflammation in the body.

One study conducted in China backed up this study, stating that post-lunch snooze for more than 30 minutes have higher risks of Type 2 Diabetes. However, scientists are still not sure whether it’s the disease that makes people want to take a nap.

In addition, the results of the study do not imply that taking a nap is always harmful. A professor at Loughborough [luf BUHR-oh] University said that taking short naps or “power naps” may still be beneficial, as it can make people feel recharged and more productive.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Is taking a short nap common in your country? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the other disadvantages of regularly taking a nap?

Discussion B

·        How would you assess your sleeping habits?

·         How do our sleeping habits affect our health?

June 6, 2014