Who doesn’t love naps, right?
Naps are an efficient and practical way to recharge the body with energy and vitality during the day. There has been much speculation on how useful and practical naps are. However, according to the latest studies in the field, a nap a day can truly keep your health in perfect order.
In nature, many animals enjoy frequent naps during the day, whereas humans typically nap once a day. Although there is no precise reason for this, scientists believe it is modern-day living that has us napping only once during the day. But, even with a single, daily nap, scientists are certain our bodies can benefit a lot from this rest period. A very popular way to nap during the day is by practicing power naps. Power naps are designed to be short and successful, replenishing the body with energy levels and improving focus. To learn more about how naps actually boost your quality of life and health, read on.
What are the Health Benefits of Naps?
A Greek study on naps noted that males who enjoy an afternoon nap have 37% less chance of suffering heart disease. Naps are very popular in many cultures and offer the body immense benefits in return. Some of the leading benefits of napping include:
- Boosted cognitive abilities.
- Elevated alertness and focus.
- Increased memory.
- Enhanced relaxation.
- Reduced stress levels.
A 1995 study on naps analyzed the impact of naps among Boeing 747 pilots. Each subject napped for 40 minutes daily, or an average of 25.8 minutes daily. The pilots ‘demonstrated vigilance performance improvements from 16% in median reaction time to 34% in lapses compared to the No-Rest Group.’
Another study from 2008 showed that naps are much more successful body stimulator than coffee. In the study, subjects who napped in the afternoon showed more improved memory than those who turned to coffee instead. The study found napping more replenishing to the mind and body, than the comfort that comes with a hot cup of coffee.
How Long Should Your Nap Be?
Studies explain that napping for even 20 minutes can contribute to your overall wellbeing. Still, the length of an effective nap can be divided into several categories according to the WebMD, all listed below.
- 20-minute nap. This type of nap enhances the memory, awakens the mental strength and improves motor skills.
- 20 to 30-minute nap. This nap is amazing for boosting creativity and stimulating memory.
- 30 to 60-minute nap. This longer type of nap boosts decision-making skills and makes it easier to memorize directions and related instructions.
- 60 to 90-minute nap. The longest type of nap resets the brain the same as in REM sleep and improves cognitive and problem-solving skills.
When to Skip Your Nap?
Naps are not beneficial to all individuals. Mostly, this depends on the energy levels in their body, medical conditions and the amount and quality of sleep involved. For instance, if you get enough benefits from sleeping during the night, a nap might not be a good idea after all. This is because the nap will recharge your body but will also leave you sleepless during the night.
Other individuals can sleep well during the night but have issues waking up from a nap without feeling exhausted. In such cases, napping is not recommended as a practice. Medically-speaking, if a person is suffering low blood pressure, tiredness and exhaustion due to the condition may urge you to nap. Still, this is not recommended, as the body doesn’t need rest but an increase in the blood pressure levels.
If you enjoy napping, it is best you set up a schedule and stick to it. Of course, you can nap randomly, but under a schedule, you will train your body to reenergize daily and for as much as needed. Finally, naps can take place anytime and anywhere, even at work. In fact, given the fact that more and companies nowadays introduce naps as an effective tool for motivating employees, you might even be entitled to your much-deserved rest time. Make the most of it, and let napping make part of your daily life, thus boosting your overall health.