But, while this provides us all with great sources of amusement, naps do actually have benefits to our health and well-being. Naps are useful for increasing performance and general moods and there’s plenty more on offer with these mini-sleeps you can include in your day, so why not read on to discover more of the advantages that naps can have on your health and daily life?
Some Of the Science
You might not know, but we are biological makeup means we require extended periods of sleep at night, which is accompanied by the inbuilt need for rest in the middle of the day. From roughly around 1pm and 3pm, our body temperature drops and levels of melatonin begin to increase. These both equate to internal cues for you to move into a period of sleep.
Obviously, in today’s modern world, daytime naps are not advocated; there are, of course, exceptions to this rule with some businesses viewing the positives that naps can have on their staff, but generally, it’s not supported. Whether there’s support or discouragement for midday downtime, our bodies still stay hard-wired to crave it.
The Profits Of Power Naps
Sadly, we all too often see a stubborn, inaccurate opinion in regard to napping being the sign of sluggishness in people. For those of you who already enjoy naps and their advantages, or for people who are looking to bring them into your routine, naps are actually quite the opposite.
People who profit from napping are proven to be highly driven and very well-motivated. Nappers enjoy getting ahead and are more often than not perfectly aware that sleep plays a pivotal role in operating at full capacity on a daily basis.
So, what other advantageous reasons are there for you to take up napping, as part of a healthy sleep routine?
Research suggests that even a short nap (25-30 mins) can provide a healthy enhancement in both energy and alertness.
Developed Accuracy And Concentration Levels
By implementing a nap into your routine, it can aid in improving your focus and concentration levels. A study which tested nappers and non-nappers and the results found that brain activity associated with concentration was just as present in the afternoon as it was in the morning for those who adopted napping, while non-nappers suffered a downturn in their levels of concentration.
Naps have been proven to expand your brain’s capability when it comes to shifting your thinking through a range of thoughts, as well as being able to be increasingly adaptive to fresh information. This is what’s known as cognitive flexibility. Having these functions working at peak performance is essential to making sound decisions and correct judgments.
Naps Help Your Mood
Research points to the fact that naps are on your side when it comes to improving mood by helping to keep your emotional regulation under control. This means you’re more well-equipped to handle frustration too.
A Lift In Creativity
A short nap can promote activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, which is the area responsible for your creativity. When you take a nap, this helps your brain to cross-communication between right and left hemispheres; this supports your creative brain and your analytical brain ‘sharing information’.
Enjoying a little nap can do wonders to reduce your stress levels as well. Lots of research supports the correlation between naps and the reduction in stress, not to mention keeping blood pressure at a steady level in response to stress, which can serve to benefit you in a wide range of scenarios.
Naps Have Mental And Physical Restorative Perks
Naps and sleep, in general, hold restorative benefits for the body. You will be well aware of how you look after a long night or a few bad night’s sleep, so to overcome fatigue by partaking in regular naps can prevent you from feeling and looking less healthy and less attractive, research cites.
Better Physical Performance
Not just elite athletes and professional sports teams, but lower level participants in a range of activities and sports are recognising and utilising the vital role sleep has when it comes to enhancing physical performance.
Naps are a strong trick up the sleeve for active people who are looking to improve their skills, regardless of the activity or discipline of sport. Naps are proven to develop motor performance, speed, accuracy and strength along with increasing reaction time.
These are just a handful of the assisting factors that you can employ when you use naps in your daily routine, so why not try it out and see how you yield the benefits?
I love napping! Sometimes my naps last up to three hours, I don’t know if that’s still considered a nap or some short of short term hibernation.