People who nap are not lazy. They might be the smartest, most productive people you know.
A nap is a short period of sleep, particularly taken during daytime as an adjunct to the usual nocturnal sleep period. Naps are most often taken as a response to drowsiness during waking hours.Going all day and pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion is sometimes a necessity, but there are other times when stretching out on a couch for just a few minutes. And studies have shown that it actually is!
Just like how enjoying a good laugh both feels great and has serious physical and mental benefits, napping is also one of those things that we love doing for a reason. Amazing how our body gives us those hints, right?
Naps can be one of the most powerful tools for self-improvement; they can increase not only our health and well-being but our intelligence and productivity as well. This is something great men have known all along. History is full of famous nappers. Famous thinkers and leaders like Napoleon, Churchill, and Edison, JFK, were all ardent nappers.
Read on to see how napping can benefit your body, mind, and mood, and you might just get the urge to lean back and take a little nap yourself!
The Benefits of Napping
Improves Physical Performance
30 minute naps increased cognition functioning by up to 40%, and that those who worked without rest gained lower scores in intelligence tests.Taking a 60 to 90-minute nap has been shown to boost mental performance for up to 24 hours afterwards. 40 minute naps improves physical performance and alertness. Other studies have found that a 20 minute nap is more effective than either 200 mg of caffeine or a bout of exercise. Studies have shown that if you break up your day with a nap, you will be as alert and energetic for the second part of your day as you were for the first. So if you’ve got an event planned for after work, take a nap before going out on the town.
Taking naps improves your health
Normally our body becomes tired throughout the day.When this happens, people drink caffeine or intake sugar to boost energy and increase alertness. However these stimulants leads to weight gain. Daytime naps compliment your body’s sleep cycle, without the health risks associated with extra calories.
When you sleep, you release growth hormone, the antidote to cortisol which which boosts your immune system, primes your sexual function, reduces stress and anxiety, and aids in muscle repair and weight loss. Napping gives your brain a chance to rest and your body a chance to heal.
Taking naps improves your mood
According to Mednick, “napping bathes your brain in serotonin, reversing those effects and creating a more positive outlook.”Your body needs 7-8 hours of sleep for you to function at your best.
Sleep deprivation impairs your motivation, tolerance and patience — having insufficient sleep can result in you not being the friendliest person to be around.
The neurotransmitter serotonin regulates our mood, sleep, and appetites. It produces feeling of contentment and well-being. But when our bodies are stressed, higher levels of serotonin are used and the production of more is blocked. As a result, we can become anxious, irritable, depressed, overwhelmed, and easily distracted.
Increasing your rest with daytime naps will positively impact your relationships with friends, family and co-workers. Added rest will enhance your sense of well-being, giving you more capacity to interact graciously with others.
A nap reduces the risk of heart disease
A study at Harvard showed that people who take a midday nap at least three times a week are 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease? Working men are 64 percent less likely!
“Taking a nap could turn out to be an important weapon in the fight against coronary mortality,” So nap at least three times a week, for at least 30 minutes.
Improves learning and working memory.
Napping improve your working memory. This type of memory is involved in working on complex tasks where you have to pay attention to one thing while holding a bunch of other things in your memory. Napping also improves your memory retention; during sleep, recent memories are transferred to the neocortex, where long-term memories are solidified and stored.
Other benefits of napping
Relief for migraines
Enhanced night-time sleep
Accelerated ability to perform motor tasks
Improved judgement and decision-making
Tips for nap taking
Keep it short — Long naps can also negatively impact nighttime sleep. Taking naps for anywhere between 10-30 minutes will give you a suitable recharge without leaving you feeling groggy.
Get comfortable — Taking naps in low light is most ideal.Light acts as a cue for our bodies. Your body temperature will fall, so adjust the thermostat or use a light blanket.The best place to take a nap is in a cool, dim area. It shouldn’t be too dark or you’ll fall into a deep sleep.
Be consistent — Try to nap at the same time every day. This helps stabilize your circadian rhythms and maximize the benefits. One easy way to do this? Schedule it. The ideal nap zone is between 1.30-3.30pm.
Use the toilet — Taking a nap on a full bladder could prove embarrassing!
Practice — Taking naps will at first feel like a chore, but as with anything, practice makes discipline.
So there you have it! There’s nothing wrong with napping, and it certainly doesn’t make you lazy.
If you’ve been feeling stressed or anxious, make some time during the day to take a quick
nap, even just 10 minutes.
You might notice yourself feeling more energized and relaxed — and maybe a lot happier.
And be sure to SHARE with your sleepy friends!