Remember how you hated the afternoon nap when you were a kid? You would’ve done almost anything just to get out of having to sleep in the middle of the day!
However, as adults (young or a bit more advanced), the tables have turned. Nowadays you would give almost anything just to be able to put your head down for a couple of minutes during the day. But you can’t! You’re usually at work or there is important stuff waiting for your attention.
Still, according to health specialists, napping is a fantastic way to relax and recharge. The trick is to do it smart: napping must be done at a certain time and mustn’t be too long if you want to reap all the benefits.
Why do we Need Naps?
You should know that most mammals have a polyphasic sleep cycle. This means they alternate between being awake and asleep throughout the 24 hours of the day. While humans don’t need to follow this cycle, we still have the need to break midday (we are biphasic sleepers) – it is built in our system. However, the busy lifestyle of today’s society doesn’t allow for time to sleep and we tend to mock or condemn the ones that do.
But a busy lifestyle is not the only reasons why we feel the need for a nap. After speaking with Tom, a sleeping expert at Try Mattress, I learned that the environment in your bedroom and even the bed can influence your rest during the night. So, if you don’t manage to get enough quality sleep, you’ll feel the need to take breaks during the day.
Is Napping Good?
There are several studies that dive deep into this matter, but until today the results are not conclusive. For instance, there is one study that linked naps with a higher risk of mortality, but at the same time, companies and universities everywhere are started installing snooze rooms to boost productivity.
In this case, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Napping is good, but only if done right. According to specialists, naps have to be short (10 to 30 minutes), and around 2 or 3 pm. You should also have a relaxing environment with a quiet and dark atmosphere.
Now, if you’re not quite convinced that you should nap, here are 6 reasons that may help you decide:
- It is relaxing
- It helps you recharge midday and allows you to continue working hard until it’s time to go home
- Many successful people do it (here is a list of famous nappers that may inspire you)
- Increases alertness – according to a study done by NASA, a short nap will increase alertness and it is more effective than coffee or exercise.
- Improves working memory – have you ever noticed that after lunch you tend to be out of focus? By taking a nap, you boost your working memory and your concentration.
- Beats sleep deprivation effects.
Overall, napping is a natural phenomenon and people should practice it more often. Of course, you have to be smart about it and keep it short and cozy!
Author: James @ BlogonDirt