You snooze, you lose. But, is snoozing really losing when it comes to taking a midday nap? The short answer, no. Now, let’s get under the covers and see what napping is all about.
Nap-time, the ‘punishment’ of childhood and the dream of a burnt-out adult. Why is it we choose to only dream about napping instead of just doing it? Oh, right. We’ve created a demanding society that frowns upon napping. We look at naps as a waste of time, when in fact it’s time well wasted. Naps are our friends with benefits (not the dirty kind).There’s studies to prove it!
The benefits of napping
Increased alertness – NASA said so. Based on a study they conducted, they found a 40-minute nap can increase alertness by 100%.
Heightened Creativity – Napping boosts sophisticated memory, thus helping with creativity.
Improves Health – Napping gives your mind time to rest and your body to heal. A Greek study showed that those who took a 30-minute nap at least three times a week, had a 37% lower risk of death from heart disease.
Improves memory – During sleep, memories are transferred to your neocortex, where long term memories are stored.
Improves mood – While sleeping, serotonin is released helping to regulate your mood. Calgon, take me away!
Increased productivity – It’s been shown that taking a short nap can allow the 2nd half of your day to be just as productive as the 1st half.
Heightened Senses – According to scientist Sara Mednick, taking a nap can improve your senses just as well as a goodnight sleep. No wonder everything is better when you nap.
Naps are simply just great!
Doing it right
Timing is everything. Knowing when and how long to nap is crucial, as it can impact the benefits of napping.
* best time to nap is between 1-4. Anything later and you could be up all night*
The Power nap: 10-20 minutes
A power nap is great for a quick boost in energy and alertness without the groggy feel of a longer nap.
Siesta, Siesta: 60 minutes
This type of nap includes slow-wave sleep, the deepest sleep. It’s great for your memory. However, you may feel a little groggy when you wake up. But it’s nothing you can’t shake.
The Invigorating nap: 90 minutes
This is a full cycle sleep, leading to enhanced creativity, as well as, emotional and procedural memory. Because it’s a full cycle sleep, it typically won’t leave you feeling groggy.
When done right, naps can leave you feeling revitalized and ready to conquer the rest of day. Do yourself the favor, treat yourself to a nap from time to time. You deserve it!