Are Afternoon Naps a Waste of Time? Know About the Surprising Health Benefits of Taking an Afternoon Nap.
Do you feel guilty to take a nap in the afternoon? Well, here’s some good news for you! Afternoon naps are the best power nap time.
So, if you’re wondering is sleeping during the day bad for your health, here are some top reasons to show you that it’s not a sign of laziness but rather surprisingly, afternoon napping can bring you a lot of health benefits.
A mid day shut eye is not necessarily the privilege of toddlers or the elderly. Neither it is a sign of laziness or slacking. Such notions are now antiquated. Sleep deprivation can cause a lot of physical and mental ills, which prevent you from enjoying life to the fullest and performing at your best.
Short naps can also be one of the most effective ways of compensating for lack of sleep during the night or you will just end up feeling sleepy all the time. So, let’s check out why you need to nap everyday.
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Why Afternoon Naps are a Sign of Health, Not Laziness
A power nap can actually boost memory. According to research, when you sleep after learning something, it improves retention of the knowledge. A short afternoon nap could be useful for a quick memory boost.
- A brief power sleep results in better recall of information or information retrieval from your memory, showing nearly a 5 fold improvement.
- Motor learning, which is necessary for learning new skills, is better after a short afternoon nap.
- A concentrated period of studying or learning followed by a short nap in the afternoon is all that is needed for improving recall of information.
- Daily naps boost the ability to learn something new and also to remember it.
Note: Research shows strong links between academic scores, the ability to recall memories and sleep.
Afternoon Naps Prevents Burnout
Are you always reaching out for that coffee to prevent that sleepy feeling? A short rejuvenating nap in the afternoon can prevent frustration and poor performance on mental tasks, which usually sets in as the day progresses.
According to research, an early to mid afternoon nap can actually improve mood and performance.
- You can continue to perform well and consistently throughout the day, instead of succumbing to burnout, if you take a power nap.
- By sleeping during the day, neural networks get refreshed during a nap, according to research.
- An afternoon nap improves ability for performing motor tasks and accuracy in everything.
- It sharpens the senses so that you are more aware of the environment and removes the mental clutter.
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Tests were conducted on subjects while performing some visual tasks. The performance declined and scores worsened as the day progressed, but a short 30-minute nap mid way through the session prevented further deterioration and boosted performance.
Reduced Blood Pressure
This is one of the top health benefits of afternoon napping. It doesn’t take place during the nap but rather in the anticipation of it, so an elderly napping during day is not exactly a bad idea.
- It has been observed that the maximum cardiovascular benefits occur just before falling asleep.
- Napping reduces stress hormone called cortisol, which helps in cardiovascular recovery.
- There is an inverse relationship between afternoon siestas and a fatal heart attack.
In a study in Greece, people taking regular siestas showed less coronary mortality compared to those who never took a nap.
- Blood pressure reduces when you take a quick nap and this reduces the strain on your heart, thereby reducing chances of fatal heart attacks.
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Napping Helps in Improving Creativity
Short adult naps in the afternoon gives the brain a break, thereby improving creativity as well. It improves the mood by bathing the brain in neurotransmitter known as serotonin. This puts the brain into a creative gear, so that you are able to think up fresh ideas.
- Is afternoon nap good or bad? Studies show that a power nap can increase activity in the right brain, though the left brain remains comparatively inactive. We know that the right side of the brain is associated with creativity, imagination, etc.
- Right side of your brain controls creative tasks and intuity.
- During a short nap, the right brain gets cleaned up and sifts through the memories by clearing out older memories and information, so that the brain is able to store new and more relevant information.
- This improves clarity and mental ability for creativity, as you are able to move through your thoughts easily and more effectively.
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Are you wanting to sleep all the time? Go ahead and take a short nap in the middle of the day, which is considered the best nap time. It’s not called a beauty sleep for nothing! An afternoon nap can also make you look younger and more beautiful.
- Who wouldn’t like to look 16 forever? Well, take that beauty sleep and watch your face glow.
- Tiredness and sleeplessness can age you much faster than you think.
- Napping improves skin regeneration and tissue regeneration, which keeps you looking younger for a longer time.
Manage Your Weight
Typically, there’s this period between 2 and 4 pm when you experience burnout, tiredness and are the least productive. You start craving for junk food.
- Take a nap at these times to help you achieve those weight loss goals.
- A short nap helps you in losing weight by changing the metabolism and moving the chemicals that affect the appetite.
Note: Check out these naps for all occasions.
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Wrap Up – Health Benefits of Taking Afternoon Naps
We humans are monophasic sleepers, remaining awake during the day and sleeping at night. But today most of us seem to be deprived of sleep due to our busy lifestyles.
Experts recommend a nap of about 15 to 20 minutes can prove to be restorative. A longer sleep of 30 minutes could result in sleep inertia and grogginess and it could even interfere with your night sleep.
Many countries have a social siesta culture, such as in Mexico, Greece and Spain. However, not all of us have the luxury of napping during the middle of the day or napping at work.
So, you could even try closing your eyes and taking long breaths or meditating instead. Try to make the environment conducive by lying down in a restful place without much noise and light.
Take a nap during the afternoon rather than later on in the day, as the latter could interfere with your regular bedtime. And now it’s time for a short afternoon nap. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz 😴