Are you a napper? It seems like one group of people believe naps are a gift from the heavens. Others believe that naps are a waste of time and only lead to feeling worse than you did before lying down for a quick snooze.
Are naps a good idea? Fortunately, science has a lot to say on the subject. Napping can be a great addition to your life if you have the time.
See how napping can be a useful daily habit:
- Napping is good for your memory. Numerous studies have shown that napping can boost your memory. Naps can be a great way for students to increase their recall.
- A nap makes you more alert. Studies done by NASA demonstrated that a 40-minute nap improved alertness by 100%. Other studies show similar results. If alertness is your goal, experiment with different durations. Many people find that a shorter nap is better if they’re looking for a quick boost.
- Longer naps boost creativity and skill learning. Long naps, those lasting 90 minutes or longer, can be very effective when it comes to learning new skills. This is especially true if the naps occur shortly after practicing the skill.
- Naps can leave you temporarily more tired. The groggy aftermath of a nap is referred to as sleep inertia. Fortunately, this only lasts 5-30 minutes. The longer the nap, the more likely you are to suffer from sleep inertia.
- Napping too long can affect your sleep at night. This is also true of a short nap if it’s too late in the day.
- Napping has a lot of additional benefits. It’s great for enhancing your mood, reducing the risk of heart attack, aiding weight loss, reducing stress, enhancing motor skills, and improving the accuracy of your work!
It’s easy to see that a regular nap is great for you if you’re able to accommodate the time in your schedule. In many cultures, everything shuts down in the afternoon so everyone can relax and enjoy a nap.
- Find the right duration. Some people love to nap for 5-10 minutes and get great results. Others like to nap longer. The only way to find the best duration for you is to experiment.
- Choose the best time for your nap. Most people naturally feel sleepy in the afternoon. This is also the ideal time for most people to take a nap. This is very dependent on your lifestyle. For example, if you work late, but have to get up early to get your kids off to school, the best time to nap might be when the school bus pulls away from your house.
- The darker and quieter, the better. The best sleeping conditions at night are the best conditions for a nap. This can be challenging but do the best you can.
- Be consistent. It’s fine to only nap as needed. However, if you’re going to nap regularly, a consistent schedule is important. If you become accustomed to napping every day at 2:00PM, you’re going to be miserable if you can’t take your nap when 2:00PM rolls around.
It’s not easy for many people to find the time to nap. Most employers aren’t too keen on the idea of napping at work. However, if you have a lunch break that allows you to leave your worksite, you can catch a quick nap in your car. Just remember to use an alarm!
Many people believe that naps are fine for children and the elderly, but naps are actually good for everyone. Take the time to enjoy a quick nap each day. It can change your life.