Are Naps Actually Beneficial?
Naps: their importance was first introduced to most of us in our youth – perhaps in kindergarten.
The stigma surrounding sleeping for a short period of time is resoundingly negative, and is synonymous with laziness – but why? Naps need not be a thing of your past – according to the Sleep Foundation, even a short 20-30 minute nap can improve your health.
How Are Naps Considered Beneficial?
- Naps have the ability to restore alertness, enhance your performance, and reduce car accidents. According to a NASA study on sleepy military pilots, a 40-minute nap improved alertness by 100 percent.
- Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep to feel rested. A nap can help balance those who require this amount of sleep but are not able to get it all at once.
- Based on a research study featured in Time, naps may improve your immune system health, in addition to restoring “out-of-whack” hormone levels.
- Naps can improve your mood, overall performance, and reduce fatigue.
- Naps have psychological benefits, and are a good way to cleanse and refresh your mind of daytime stress for a small amount of time.
Things To Keep In Mind:
- Taking a nap too late in the day can affect nighttime sleep patterns, interfering with your regular schedule. Early-in-the-day naps might not be as impactful either, seeing as your body may not be ready for additional sleep.
- The best time to nap is in the mid-afternoon, between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. These naps are unlikely to interfere with your nightly sleep schedule, and help combat post-lunch exhaustion.
- Napping for longer than 10-30 minutes can create the feeling of grogginess (otherwise known as sleep inertia) afterward. Keep naps timely.
- Relax – make sure your environment is void of distractions and comfortable.
Naps have their drawbacks but the positive impact they make on your day-to-day life are fruitful. The way you manage your naps is left to you.
How have naps improved your life recently? Let us know in the comments!
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
- New Sleep Guidelines: 5 Ways to Make Sure Your Kids are Getting Enough
- Tired of Not Sleeping? Understanding Insomnia Symptoms and Treatment
- 4 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Photo Credit: Ben Garrison