At last, the positive aspects of daily naps are bein acknowledged.
In our sleep-deprived modern world, power naps can help our sleep deficiency while boosting our brains and improving our problem-solving skills, memory, learning abilities, as well as our object and statistical learning.
Naps were found to improve reaction time, logical reasoning, math skills, mood, and even help with fatigue. In addition, napping is great for the heart, weight management, blood pressure regulation, and stress, alertness and more.
As per the National Sleep Foundation, napping can be put into three different categories:
1. Planned Napping
Planned or ‘Therapy’ napping means going for a nap before you even start feeling sleepy. This method can be used to prevent fatigue and tiredness, or when a person knows that they will have to stay awake for longer than usual.
2. Emergency Napping
This means going for a nap when you can no longer function properly. This type of napping often helps with sleepy driving or fatigue while using heavy and potentially dangerous work tools.
3. Habitual Napping
Habitual napping is when a person takes a nap a the same time every day.
Young children tend to go to sleep at around the same time every afternoon, and many grown-ups take a short nap every day after lunch.
One study discovered that adult men who have a habit of napping in the afternoon at least three times a week were 37% less likely to die from a heart condition than people who never take a short afternoon nap.
Taking an afternoon nap is a tradition in many countries, and they all have a low rate of heart attacks.
Meanwhile, countries like the U.S. and the UK, where naps are not advocated, have heart disease as one of the leading causes of death.
Furthermore, the findings show that napping has astounding psychological benefits, and a small nap can be a pleasant experience that relaxes the mind and body while boosting rejuvenation.
A stunning NASA study from 1995 examined the effects of napping on 747 pilots, and a part of them was allowed to take a 40-minute nap each day. The study revealed vigilance performance improvements from 16% in median reaction time to 34% in lapses compared to the group that did not take naps.
Another study from 2008 revealed that naps work better than caffeine when it comes to improving motor skills, verbal memory, and perceptual learning.
As it turns out, even a small nap has its benefits, but its length will determine the benefits you’ll experience.
Here is what to expect:
- 20-minute nap: Enhances mental alertness, memory, and motor learning skills.
- 20 to 30-minute nap: Boosts your creativity and your memory
- 30 to 60-minute nap: Powers up your decision-making skills and memory
- 60 to 90-minute nap: The most beneficial nap type as it ensures REM sleep. It helps you restart your brain, and enhances your problem-solving skills.
Hence, we can all benefit from daily naps.
However, if you have a sleeping disorder, it may not be advisable to take a daily nap since it might interfere with your night sleep.
Are you a person who enjoys napping? Let us know your thoughts by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you enjoyed the read.