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!

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Photo Credit: Ben Garrison

 

 

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