15+ Benefits Of Napping And Tips For A Good Nap
In this article, you will learn the benefits of napping as well as some simple tips you can implement for a good and relaxing nap.
People usually consider naps to be a sign of laziness and think of them as unnecessary. However, it is natural for even those people who get adequate sleep and rest at night to experience drowsiness and a significant drop in their productivity after some hours of being awake.
In fact, napping for an extra 20 minutes during the day can have many health benefits. It helps combat the lethargic feeling most people might experience during the day. Even a brief rest has relaxing effects on an individual, and significantly reduces stress.
Also Read: How Does Stress Affect Sleep?
Napping itself can be classified into 3 types – emergency napping, planned napping, and habitual napping.
When one gets extremely tired such that they are not able to continue a task at hand, and need a nap to reenergize, it is termed as an emergency nap. This nap helps get rid of fatigue and drowsiness and allows one to resume the work at hand with better abilities.
Planned or Preparatory napping is a strategic form of napping wherein one takes a nap before they get sleepy. This is done to prevent drowsiness later when it is desirable for one to stay awake. Habitual napping, on the other hand, is a means of conditioning the body to take rest at a set particular time every day. Afternoon naps are an example of habitual naps.
Benefits Of Napping
Napping deems to have many benefits on a person’s health and overall productivity, some of which are listed below:
- Naps are associated with a boost in alertness and enhanced performance in an individual. These effects can be observed directly after the nap, which may even extend to a few hours later.
- One’s job performance also improves with regular napping, as they become more consistent. Positive effects can be seen in work efficiency, and tasks that one might not have been able to complete throughout the day are done easily after a nap.
- Napping leads to considerable improvements in one’s physical and mental health.
- People struggling with narcolepsy (a chronic disorder that leads to excessive daytime drowsiness) often resort to naps as a means to overcome the condition.
- Sleep has an important role to play when it comes to storing memories, and naps undoubtedly contribute to that. Regular naps help keep one from forgetting things like their sense of perception, motor skills, and verbal recall.
- It also provides psychological benefits as a person feels more relaxed and at ease once they wake up after a nap.
- Naps are a great way to boost your mood. If one is feeling down and lethargic, they can try to nap for a while. After waking up from a nap, people tend to feel more optimistic and have a positive outlook.
- Napping reduces fatigue in an individual and also improves their mood. They feel more relaxed which enhances productivity. One can observe the changes in terms of better memory and quicker reaction time.
- The positive effects on the body provided by caffeine can all be achieved by strategic napping, without the possibility of strong side effects.
- Power naps are effective in lowering stress. It lowers the cortisol levels in the body, which prevents the occurrence of instances like anxiety attacks or panic attacks. These naps are also good for motor learning skills and improving one’s alertness.
- Longer naps, of about an hour, help enhance one’s creativity and improve memory as well. Its effects can be seen in terms of one’s decision-making skills, recalling directions, improved vocabulary, and memorizing things.
- Napping helps improve brain function and the brain is able to draw connections between things you know more easily and quickly. This can be seen directly after the nap, or even in one’s long term behavior.
- Naps also enhance one’s creativity and people often wake up with new innovative ideas. In fact, many great ideas have actually stemmed from naps.
- Daytime naps can also help in the treatment of sleep deprivation. You get an opportunity to reset your system and get a much-needed energy boost. People might experience increased motor performance and heightened alertness after taking a nap.
- Napping is good for the heart, as it helps lower a person’s blood pressure level. Your body gets time to recover from intense pressure situations, which reduces the risk of heart problems like stroke.
- Contrary to popular belief, napping can also help you sleep better at night. Naps when combined with regular moderate exercise greatly enhance one’s nighttime sleep which has profound impacts on one’s overall health.
- Naps are especially beneficial for children, as it aids in their learning and development. Children, in general, require more sleep than adults, as their short-term memory stores are limited, and naps are the perfect way to provide that.
Tips For Napping
A person who often takes naps needs to be careful in their methodologies for the same. The following pointers will be helpful to optimize one’s napping practices:
- It is recommended to keep one’s naps of short duration, preferably 20-30 minutes, to gain maximum benefits. These kinds of naps help boost one’s alertness and performance, without impacting one’s sleep at night.
- Ensure a restful sleep environment when you take a nap. The temperature of the room should be comfortable and suited for your body. Minimal light and noise are preferred, as it makes it easy for one to fall asleep, thereby optimizing time.
- Make sure that there are no distractions around as you sleep. Put all of your devices in ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode and switch off all your screens.
- The timing of the nap should be strategically set according to one’s sleep schedule. Sleeping too close to one’s bedtime can cause them to not feel sleepy when actually desired, and mess up their sleep cycle. Whereas sleeping late makes it difficult for one to go to sleep at bedtime, and sleeping too early might not be possible as the body won’t be tired enough then. The best naps are the ones taken in the early afternoon.
- Occasional naps do provide health benefits. However, if one wants to achieve maximum gains out of naps, they should make it a habit. Regular napping has a profound positive impact on one’s health.
- If one wants to supplement their nap with coffee (or some other caffeinated drink), it is best to have it before the nap. Caffeine takes some time to kick into the system, so its effects will be observed right about when you wake up.
Napping Benefits: Conclusion
Napping is an excellent method for sleep-deprived people to catch up on lost sleep. It can even help overcome fatigue and unexpected sleepiness. People should be strategic in the way they nap to reap maximum benefits, which now every reader should be aware of after reading this article.
September 16, 2020 Sam Bell