Good news for all of you who love your midday catnaps!
It turns out that your short increments of daylight slumber may actually be the key to your happiness.
While it is well known that getting adequate sleep comes with many health benefits including increased productivity, awareness, and improved memory — results of a new study out of the University of Hertfordshire suggest that short naps may help improve your mood, too.
According to Richard Wiseman, a Professor at the University, these findings are the first of their kind.
“Previous research has shown that naps of under 30 minutes make you more focused, productive and creative, and these new findings suggest the tantalizing possibility that you can also become happier by just taking a short nap.
“Similarly, longer napping is associated with several health risks and, again, this is in line with our results,” Wiseman said.
For the study, 1,000 participants were asked psychological questions detailing their napping habits.
Researchers then assessed the results and gave each an overall “happiness score” based on their responses.
The findings revealed that those who took brief daytime snoozes had an average score of 3.67 on a five-point scale, while non-nappers scored 3.52, and long nappers 3.44.
It also showed that 66% of short nappers reported feeling happy compared with 56% of long nappers.
The results also determined age was a factor as 43% of participants aged 18 to 30 reported taking long naps during the day, while only 30% of those over the age of 50 were doing the same.
These findings are in stark contrast to results from a 2014 study that suggested people who took naps were more likely to die young.
For the study, published in Medical Daily, researchers followed 16,000 British men and women aged between 40 and 79 over 13 years.
The researchers asked participants about their napping habits and found there were three basic categories: people who napped for more than an hour a day, people who napped for less than an hour a day, and people who didn’t nap.
By the end of the 13-year study, researched concluded that people who napped for more than an hour a day were 32% more likely to have died than the non-nappers.
Of course, there is a great deal of variance in this correlations as cause of death wasn’t taken into account.
The benefits of sleep have long been recognized, but perhaps you should consider adding a catnap to your day for your overall happiness as well.
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