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Are you napping your way to an eternal sleep?

I love a nap as much as anyone. Sometimes, a midday siesta hits the spot better than a cold beer on a hot day.

But if you’re so tired you NEED a nap every day… if you can’t make it to dinnertime without snoozing for a bit after lunch… then it might be more than just a case of the daytime drowsies.

While short naps are scientifically proven to protect the heart and brain, new research finds that pulling a Rip Van Winkle during the day could mean you’re at risk for some devastating health problems.

Nap for more than 40 minutes per day in the afternoon, and you could find yourself battling metabolic syndrome in the not-too-distant future… or maybe even have the condition already without realizing it.

And if you’ve got metabolic syndrome, it’s like a Chinese dinner menu — and you could end up with a little of everything on it.

For starters, you’ve got obesity… too much fat around your organs… high blood sugar… and more.

That’s followed by a round of diabetes… heart disease… and for dessert, an early death.

The risk kicks in with 40 minutes of naptime per day — and if you REALLY like long naps… if you’re conked out for 90 minutes or more per day… your metabolic syndrome risk jumps by 50 percent.

The risks don’t end there, I’m afraid. The study also finds that napping for an hour or more per day and being overly tired for much of the rest of the time will boost the risk of diabetes by 50 percent.

Now, a light snooze is not only harmless, but it’s perfectly healthy — and the study proves that as well. In fact, if you snooze for half an hour or less per day, your disease risks DROP.

The problems only kick in if you’re sleeping too much — and if you’re sleeping too much during the day, you might have something going on that’s keeping you awake at night.

Don’t turn to sleep meds, which can cause something even worse than metabolic syndrome. Use them regularly, and your risk of death jumps by as much as 500 percent.

That’s not the kind of sleep you want!

Instead, try something natural, starting with one of my favorites: a little brandy and warm milk.

If you’ve tried your best and still can’t get to sleep, seek the help of a naturopathic physician. Once you get it under control, you’ll be able to nap during the day because you want to… not because you NEED to…and you’ll be able to wake up from it.

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