3 Benefits of Taking Short Naps

3 Health Benefits of Napping

3 Benefits of Taking Short Naps 

Many people believe that naps are for toddlers and newborns, only. However, many of us could benefit from a midday break—i.e., napping!

The average person sleeps around 7-9 hours a day. But 7-9 hours of sleep doesn’t work for everyone. According to CDC, 1 in 3 adults has trouble sleeping. Some reasons for trouble sleeping may be caused by stress, anxiety, trauma, concerns, sleep apnea, insomnia, depression, work hours, etc. Putting the reasons aside, sleep is very important for your body and brain to rest. Without proper sleep, you may feel drowsy, negative, stressed, not able to concentrate, or may even cause health deterioration. Regarding this, it is recommended for people to take naps during the day to regain their energy—through a power nap. Research shows that a good power nap can increase your energy, reduce sleepiness, aid memory formation, regulate positive emotions, and improve your health.

Naps Help Reduce Sleepiness 

When you’re tired, all you can think about is your soft sheets and your bed. Without a good sleep during the night—regardless of the number of hours—it is common to feel drowsy. In situations like these, a power nap for at most 30 minutes can change your drowsiness to energy. Taking a short nap provides time for your body and mind to easily relax, reduce fatigue, and increase your alertness. In fact, according to the data gathered, taking naps showed similar performance of the EEG and EOG (measuring human activity levels) to having a good 7–9-hour of sleep.

Naps Help Memory Functions

Sleep deprivation can negatively affect your memory formation as people facilitate memory through sleeping. Through taking naps, studies have shown an increase in memory functions which have been tested through cognitive and blood levels. Not only does it facilitate our memory functions, but taking a short nap when sleep-deprived instead of taking a rest while awake, improves concentration, learning, and performance in studies and better memory.

Naps Help Regulate Emotions

When you are in a state of grogginess or drowsiness, anything can easily irritate or provoke negative emotions. Additionally, it may be difficult to regulate your emotions because all you can think about is how tired you are. The act of sleeping increases different cognitive functions, one being the frontal lobe—where your emotions are regulated—and through taking a nap, your frontal lobe function increases as well. It also increases your level of serotonin which helps lessen stress. Through the act of sleeping, you can easily improve your mood, be able to control your anger or other negative emotions, and be able to better manage your stress levels.

What’s the Ideal Way to Nap? 

According to CDC, naps between 15 and 30 minutes help facilitate the benefits listed above, including insomnia. Additionally, naps are recommended to be taken before 3 pm at a quiet, dark place without distraction. On the other hand, attempting to take naps over 90 minutes may possibly increase sleep inertia or insomnia. Taking longer naps can contribute to and/or exacerbate mental and physical problems—cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and lower life expectancy.

 

When you find yourself not being able to concentrate or feeling tired, napping might be your best medicine. Read our page on sleep problems to learn more.

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