Have you ever met someone who doesn’t like to nap? Probably not, because napping is awesome! Whether it’s a quick power nap, a long cat nap or just grabbing some shuteye on a lazy summer afternoon, naps actually have many benefits to your health, as well.
When you take a nap, you can:
- Lower your stress levels
- Improve your overall health
- Increase your alertness
- Reduce accidents
Let’s take a look at these nap benefits one at a time, and then we’ll determine the best nap length.
Naps can help decrease stress, which is exacerbated by fatigue. If something is bothering you, take a nap and then come at the issue from a new, refreshed perspective. Often, that problem won’t seem quite as dire once you’ve slept it off. Napping also soothes some of the physiological triggers of stress, such as low patience and short-term memory loss.
Improve Your Health
Naps offer a time for your body to heal and repair itself. If you don’t get enough nighttime sleep, throwing in a quick afternoon nap can help make up for the shuteye you lost overnight. Your mood will soar after a nap, which helps preserve health, as well. Naps also give the immune system a lift, protecting you against viruses and other illnesses.
Have you ever noticed you feel sharper and more observant after taking a nap? That’s because your brain has had time to re-power itself. It comes back stronger when you’ve given it a rest. In fact, a study by NASA found immense benefits to alertness when you take a nap. Sleeping for 40 minutes can bump up alertness by 100 percent, while also enhancing overall performance by 34 percent.
When you nap, you improve your reaction times, which can help guard against accidents. Drowsiness is also a major cause of car crashes. When you drive and you’re too tired, you may find yourself dozing off at the wheel or blinking rapidly to try to keep your eyes open on the highway. This is obviously dangerous and could prove fatal. By taking a nap, you get the rest you need and can drive with the confidence that you’ll remain awake until reaching your destination.
What Is the Optimal Nap Time?
You don’t want to overdo your napping. Short power naps work the best for restoring cognitive function and boosting energy. The optimal nap time length is 20 to 30 minutes. This is long enough to reap the benefits of sleep but short enough that you don’t fritter your afternoon away or drift into a deep sleep, from which you’ll awake groggy.
Indulge in Power Nap Time Today
We have a silly notion in our society that taking a nap makes us lazy. On the contrary. By taking a nap, you’re warding off the feelings of exhaustion and tiredness that can take a toll on your productivity. You’re being proactive. And besides, there’s nothing better than sinking onto a soft mattress at midday for a quick snooze. Go ahead and indulge in that nap and feel good about helping yourself!