Many Europeans believe in the benefits of napping so much that they shut down in the afternoon to allow everyone to take a quick power nap, recharge, and come back to work. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in the U.S. where a mid-day nap is not only a luxury but oftentimes is perceived as downright laziness.
If you’re among those who enjoy the occasional midday snooze, you should continue the habit as studies have shown that it’s a normal and integral part of the circadian (sleep-wake cycle) rhythm.
The Benefits of Napping
Studies have shown that short naps can improve awareness and productivity. You don’t need much; just 15 to 20 minutes can make a world of difference. A study from the University of Colorado Boulder discovered that children who didn’t take their afternoon nap didn’t display much joy and interest, had a higher level of anxiety, and had lower problem-solving skills compared to other children who napped regularly. The same goes for adults as well. Researchers with Berkeley found that adults who regularly take advantage of an afternoon nap have a better learning ability and improved memory function. Why is napping so essential? Because it gives your brain a reboot, where the short-term memory is cleared out and our brain becomes refreshed with new defragged space.
Why you should nap
While healthy individuals are not required to nap, many people find it beneficial. Napping has several benefits, including helping you feel refreshed to face the demands of your day, preparing you for times when you may be short on sleep (such as when you have to work or study late into the night), and enhancing your mood and energy level.
How long should you nap?
According to experts, 10 to 20 minutes is quite enough to refresh your mind and increase your energy and alertness. The sleep isn’t as deep as longer naps and you’re able to get right back at your day immediately after waking up. If you nap for 30 minutes you may deal with a 30-minute grogginess period because you wake up just as your body started entering a deeper stage of sleep. The same can be said if you sleep for an hour, but on the other hand, these 60-minute naps provide an excellent memory boost. The longest naps— lasting about 90 minutes—are recommended for those people who just don’t get enough sleep at night. Since it’s a complete sleep cycle, it can improve emotional memory and creativity.
Are Naps Very Good for You?
Both children and adults benefit from naps. Napping reduces daily tiredness and improves learning and performance, according to numerous studies. Naps can help shift workers enhance their alertness and reaction times. We also know that naps are beneficial to newborns, toddlers, and young children in a variety of ways. They assist in meeting a child’s daily sleep need of 9-17 hours, depending on age, as well as improving behavior and emotional self-regulation, as well as memory and language learning.
I do not normally take naps
You might not be someone who benefits from mid-day rest if you feel like naps disrupt your evening sleep or if you don’t feel rejuvenated after taking one. If you’re fatigued during the day, take a short nap of fewer than 15 minutes.
There you have it – naps are good for your physical and mental well-being so you should practice them as much as you can. However, be advised that you shouldn’t sacrifice night time sleeping for an afternoon nap, they should be an addition to a good night’s sleep.
If you found this article informative, please share it with your family and friends by clicking the button below!