Why Afternoon Naps Are Good For You, According To Science

Afternoon Naps Good For You

Do you feel refreshed, energised and put together taking a power nap in the afternoon? If, yes, then you will feel glad to know that afternoon naps are a sign of health and you must continue to do that. But, if your inner demons or people around you are telling you to skip the afternoon nap because it’s a sign of laziness then here is the truth. 

Sleep is viewed as a crime in workplaces that have a hectic schedule and tight deadlines. No matter you deliver high-quality work after a solid afternoon sleep, nothing can save you from the wrath of your employers. Whatever you explain, even with conclusive proofs, seems like an excuse to escape your immense work. A lot of people consider that midday naps as your most inhuman abominations.

If you feel guilty about your naps then you must know that there are many great personalities who valued afternoon nap like Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon, Thomas Edison, and John F. Kennedy. 

Oil industrialist John D. Rockefeller napped every afternoon in his office. On the other hand Physicist Albert Einstein took short naps daily despite ten hours of sleep each night. Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, followed of a ritual of taking naps before speaking engagements.

Gene Autry, “the Singing Cowboy,” routinely took naps in his dressing room between performances. And president Lyndon B. Johnson napped every afternoon at 3:30 p.m. to break his day up into “two shifts.”

Now does it make you feel better? 

What if these successful people knew something which you don’t?

If people make you feel bad about your afternoon naps and you start looking at this all wrong, here are facts that will make you believe that what you are doing is in fact quite healthy. 

We are living in a fast-paced digital world and due to busy lifestyle we are becoming more and more sleep deprived. 

Sleeping is necessary for our body to replenish our energy and abilities, store the gathered information and sort it into its respective place in either the long term memory or well, the dump-bin. It keeps you from lagging in your work and reduces stress. Adequate sleep makes you more productive and helps you save your time. (So, you can sleep more!)

On the other hand, afternoon nap (which is a short period of sleep) are like those productive apps you download to boost your gadget quickly without resorting to a ‘restart’.

Science-backed benefits of afternoon naps

You can reap incredible benefits from the short nap of 15-20 minutes according to Sara C. Mednick, PhD, sleep, expert. It can improve your mood, increase your alertness, energy and motor performance. That is what you need to get an energy boost. A 20-minute power nap also known as stage 2 nap is good for motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano.

Short naps help us feel more awake and get twice as much done each day. According to Sleep Foundation, afternoon naps reduce sleepiness, improve learning, aid in memory formation, boost creativity, ease stress and regulate emotions. 

Research shows that a nap can help you remember things learned earlier in the day as much as a full night’s sleep. Daily naps will stop you from forgetting things like verbal recall, sense perception. Napping also helps you connect the dots easier. 

(In research conducted by Matthew Walker, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, students who napped (green column) did markedly better in memorizing tests than their no-nap counterparts.)

Studies show napping for 30 minutes (between 1-3 p.m) combined with moderate exercise, like stretching in the evening, helps improve nighttime sleep. 

These are no selfish reasons to justify afternoon nap but scientifically proven facts. 

Read 10 Scientifically Proven Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

An afternoon nap is a quick way to relax and recharge if done right, of course. The length of your nap determines the brain-boosting benefits. A long nap will make you wake up with grogginess or feeling more tired than before – sleep inertia. So, here are different types of naps and sleeps that will benefit you the most. 

However, make sure to have a consistent routine, where you take a specific type of nap regularly at about the same time of the day. However, if you take them individually, it won’t work.

5 Different types of naps

1. Quick Nap

Time: 10-15 minutes.

Sounds weird?

Well, these works. It might be difficult to start with it initially, so set an alarm first. This short, quick nap can kill your drowsiness, if you are otherwise well-rested. You may have experinced the power of this quick boost when attending a boring lecture or a meeting and awoken with a start after a few minutes. Didn’t you feel extremely fresh?

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