weight loss nap work day exercise
Hitting that mid-day slump? You could exercise or... nap-ercise. Photo: iStock

Finding it difficult to get a mid-day workout? Still can’t wrap your brain around the fact that your smug co-worker runs instead of eating during lunch? If sleeping in a roomful of strangers sounds infinitely better than sweating in a roomful of strangers, you might fall in love with this fad fitness plan.

 

Enter Nap-ercise, “designed to reinvigorate the mind, the body and even burn the odd calorie.”

 

David Lloyd Clubs, a fitness center in the U.K., has invented an hour-long class class called "the 40 winks workout" consisting of 15 minutes of stretching and 45 minutes of napping in a room set to 64.4 degrees – an ideal temperature for slumber. You won’t be lying on a gymnasium floor; each participant gets his or her own bed, blanket and eye mask.

 

“The frantic nature of modern life means that few of us seem to get enough sleep, and if you're a parent, a good night’s rest becomes even more of a luxury,” according to the gym’s webpage. “So we're created a new group class - group napping classes for exhausted mums and dads to help boost their mental and physical wellbeing.”

 

Are they serious?

Sleep deprivation can lead to higher levels of the horomone cortisol and lower levels of leptin. Cortisol, often called the "stress horomone," is responsible for, among other things, the speed of your metabolism. Higher cortisol means a slower metabolism. Leptin is the horomone that tell your brain "I'm full. I don't need any more food." Leptin keeps ghrelin, the "hunger horomone," at bay.

Additionally, an hour nap can “boost and restore your brain power,” a 2010 study from UC Berkeley found, making you smarter and more capable of jamming information, facts and figures into your brain. In fact, naps win over more nighttime sleep and caffeine for keeping participants going mid-day, a previous study found.

The side effects of skipping out on sleep are nothing to yawn about, either. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine put a group of overweight non-smokers on a calorie-controlled diet and then split the group in two: one group sleeping 8.5 hours a night and the other 5.5 hours.

The sleep deprived group didn’t lose as much weight as the group who got a full night’s rest and actually lost 60 percent more muscle.

Turns out, when your body is sleep deprived, it switches into fat storing mode at the expense of building muscle.

Sleeping doesn't burn as many calories or build as much muscle as a kickboxing class, yoga class or powerlifting session, but it sounds like a fantastic excuse to take a hardcore nap all while getting to say, "I go to the gym on my lunch break,"

The David Lloyd fitness class is only available at the South East London location, but here’s to hoping it catches on and makes its way across the pond!