Photo courtesy of Joshua Freake Via Unsplash
For those who wonder about the importance of daily naps, taking naps helps reduce fatigue, improve mood, increase memory and more.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, napping positively benefits our health and mood. Napping helps to keep our body refreshed and ready to meet the day. No matter the length of the nap, positive outcomes can still occur.
A 20-minute nap according to research, can be the best length for a shorter nap. “A short nap like this allows your mind and body to rest without entering the deeper stages of sleep.” Naps for 60 to 90 minutes help to enter deep sleep and can result in a slow-wave sleep.
No matter the age, naps are beneficial for children and adults. However, when napping, it is essential to consider the impact it could have on your nighttime sleep. It is suggested that resting before 2 p.m. won’t highly impact your nighttime sleep. If you miss the 2 p.m. mark for your nap, going outside and getting sunlight can help you receive the same benefits as your daily naps.
If you’re an athlete and endure tiring workouts, napping can help improve your endurance and restore your body as well as improve reaction time.
The Sleep Foundation breaks down how sleep works during nap time:
“Stage 1: Stage 1 is the lightest and briefest stage of sleep, lasting only one to seven minutes.
Stage 2: Stage 2 follows stage 1 and lasts about 10 to 25 minutes. During stage 2 sleep, the muscles relax, and body functions slow. However, sleep at this stage is still relatively light.
Stage 3: Stage 3 is a deeper, more restorative stage of sleep, and it is not easy to wake up while in this stage. Stage 3 usually lasts between 20 and 40 minutes.”
It is essential to stick to a schedule and allot time to your dedicated napping. Set the alarm before you nap for your desired nap time length. After your alarm goes off, ensure you get up with a form of intention. This could mean getting up and stretching or walking around. Doing this will help you shake off the post-sleepiness you may have endured from your last nap.
While napping is beneficial and can have positive benefits, naps longer than 20 or 30 minutes can increase tiredness and interfere with your nighttime sleep. The time of day the nap is taken and the length plays crucial roles in your overall mood.
So, yes, naps are good for you and can lead to substantial benefits. If naps a couple of times a week are an essential for you, be sure to plan and allot time to take your naps for health benefits.