Napping - some people swear by it and others are against it, but it can be the difference between a productive day and one that falls short. A nap before doing a task can feel as rejuvenating as an 8-hour sleep. That's not to say that you should stop trying to have a healthy nightly sleep pattern. However, when life throws you a curveball, it might just be time to nap. Here are the benefits of napping and how to nap correctly.
Benefits of napping
- Improved memory: When we sleep we take all the things we've done that day and form them into memories. Forming memories is how we learn new skills and facts so it's important to get enough sleep. If you find yourself falling short of sleep at night, try and have a small nap in the day to improve memory.
- Improve alertness: similarly to improving memory, sleeping improves our alertness. Our alertness gradually decreases throughout the day so if you have a task you need to be alert for, consider taking a nap.
- More energy: of course, a major benefit of sleeping is increased energy. Sleeping regulates the blood sugars and a lack of sleep can result in the body struggling to regulate sugars. This can result in a drop in energy. Taking a nap when you have a lack of energy will regulate the sugars and help you feel energised.
- Improved emotional response: without enough sleep, the response centre in the brain can become overly responsive. Causing us to react to situations more intensely. Getting more sleep can improve this reaction and help to regulate mood.
How to nap correctly
The key to napping is to only nap when you need to. If you get into a routine of napping at the same time every day, you can become dependant on it and throw out your sleep cycle, causing you to nap more. It's important to time your nap correctly too. Napping for longer than 45 minutes can mess with your sleep cycle and do more harm than good. A perfect amount of time is anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes. Anything longer can send you into a REM cycle and you will wake up feeling groggy. If you find yourself feeling groggy after all naps. Try drinking a coffee immediately before the nap. That way when you wake up, the caffeine will have kicked in and will get rid of any drowsiness.
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