The Biggest Benefits of Taking a Nap Every Day
Aging brings changes in sleep quality and pattern. As we turn 60, our sleep is less deep, shorter for 2 hours, and has more rapid sleep cycles. Also, we wake up more often. But, regardless of age, we need around 8 hours of sleep per night to function optimally.
So, if you can’t get proper, quality sleep at night, have you considered taking daytime naps regularly?
Unfortunately, our day is divided into 2 periods: sleeping and awake time. The busy lifestyle most of us live nowadays doesn’t allow us to take naps as often as we should. In fact, some of us can never allow ourselves even a short nap.
Even though regular naps may not compensate for your poor quality or inadequate sleep, a 20-30 minute nap can help improve your alertness, mood, and performance, says the National Sleep Foundation.
Some of the most famous nappers include Albert Einstein, Napoleon. Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, John F. Kennedy, Thomas Edison, and Winston Churchill.
Types of Nap
There are three different types of naps:
- Planned – right before you get sleepy. This nap is recommended when planning to stay up later than usual. Also, you can use it to prevent yourself from getting tired early.
- Emergency – when you’re too tired to continue with your current activity. People use it in cases of fatigue during operating dangerous and heavy machinery, or in cases of drowsy driving.
- Habitual – this one’s at the same time every day.
- The National Sleep Foundation recommends a 20-30 minute long naps for immediate improvement of alertness and performance. Taking a nap as long as this one every day won’t interfere with your nighttime sleep pattern;
- Avoid taking a nap late in the day to prevent it from disrupting your sleeping pattern.
Benefits of Naps
Here are several benefits of regular naps:
- Naps can improve performance, alertness, and reduce accidents and mistakes. One NASA study showed that a 40-minute nap improved sleepy military pilots and astronauts’ alertness by 100%, and their performance by 34%;
- It can make you more alert right after taking a nap;
- It can help you relax after a long, stressful day at work;
- Improves your working and learning memory;
- Improves memory retention – your recent memories are transferred to the part of the brain where long-term memories are stored, and all this happens while you sleep;
- Reverses information overload;
- Heightens your senses – experts suggest napping is as good as getting a night of sleep when it comes to improving the sensory perception;
- Improves your creativity – taking a quick nap helps loosen up the web of ideas in your brain and fuse them together;
- Boosts mood – napping increases the levels of the happy hormone – serotonin;
- Reduces stress – lack of sleep leads to excess levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. So, taking a quick nap every day can help reduce these levels;
- Boosts energy levels – taking regular naps can give you enough energy to replace the many cups of coffee or energy drinks you buy every day. As you can see, napping can even save you some cash.
Taking regular naps every day is beneficial for your health and well-being in many ways. You can have a 20 or 30-minute nap to notice the improvements in your energy, concentration, and mood.
Still, it’s best to tailor your nap to your specific needs on a specific day.