Ever heard of the saying ‘if in doubt, sleep on it’? While we all love the idea of taking a nap in the middle of a working day, sometimes this is not always possible. Whether it’s a busy schedule, loud environment, or the inability to wake up after, there always seems to be a reason for not being able to take a nap. Yet despite these daily distractions, could there actually be some benefits to taking a nap?
Why Do We Nap?
Many believe that taking a nap is actually a sign of laziness rather than fatigue. However, it can actually be used as a power tool to regain some energy at any point in the day. Taking a nap is a response to drowsiness which we may feel during daylight hours and it is a sign from our bodies that a short rest period is required. In many countries, a ‘siesta’ is part of a lifestyle and is considered a normal activity during lunchtime hours. While this is not part of culture in the U.K, napping may provide the essential rest we need during a working day.
What Are The Benefits?
In contrast to many opinions, taking a nap does not actually affect the quality of sleep at night-time for most people. This is because it should be taken as a short rest period rather than a deep sleep which we experience at night. It is important to take a nap at the right time of day when you are feeling most drowsy, but not too close to the time you are going to bed. Here are some of the other benefits of taking a nap which you may not have known:
- Relaxation - If you can shut your mind away from the world for even 10 minutes, it is a relaxing period.
- Improved mood - most people feel better after taking a short nap because they have had chance to recharge their batteries and refresh their mind.
- Improved concentration - taking a nap is a quick fix to improving your memory, focus and alertness for the rest of the day.
- May benefit the heart - it has been proven that those who take naps during the day, may have a lower risk of heart-related death.
Although napping isn’t for everyone, it is certainly an activity which more people should take advantage of if it is possible in their daily routines. It’s called a power nap for a good reason, so the next time you want to reach for an energy drink, make sure to take forty winks instead!