Are you one of those people who wake up and already look forward to your afternoon nap? Don’t be ashamed, sleep is a beautiful thing. Some of us can’t get through a day without a nap just because we are so busy and left exhausted. For others, we nap simply out of boredom. Although napping feels good, is it good for our health?
Depending on who you ask, you will receive a different answer. Some big companies are so convinced that naps help improve productivity that they give their employees naptime.
Sleep research expert at the Nation Institutes of Health Dr. Benjamin Smarr explained, “While sleeping too much during a midday nap may be harmful to the natural circadian rhythm, 20 to 30 minutes of napping during the day will actually improve overall function throughout the day and even give you an evening boost, while not generally having any negative effects on how we sleep at night. A good nap is not a long interruption in the day, but a brief moment of respite, where we’re able to recharge. This actually improves our overall activity throughout the day and makes us productive for longer periods of time; it’s the smart move. And if we use that extra energy, we’re still left tired enough to get a full night’s sleep.”
There is research that has revealed that naps may improve mood, reaction time, logical reasoning, and symbol recognition. One specific study uncovered that those who napped for 60 minutes mid-day were more tolerant of frustrations compared to those who watched an hour-long documentary.
It’s important to remember that although naps can provide some benefits, time is a large factor. Set a timer to keep your naps short so that they don’t disrupt your nighttime sleep. Also, ensure that you aren’t napping too close to when you actually go to sleep. As long as you adhere to these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of the naps.