Are Afternoon Naps Good for You?

Are Afternoon Naps Good for You?

Tina Ureten

Napping offers various benefits such as Improved mood, relaxation, increased alertness, better memory, etc. Napping can also help you manage stress and reduce fatigue.

If you’re tired, you might fancy a nap. But taking naps at the wrong time of day or for too long can sometimes backfire. Learn how to make the most out of your naps.

Napping Benefits

Napping offers various benefits for healthy adults, including:

  • Improved mood
  • Relaxation
  • Increased alertness
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Improved performance
  • Quicker reaction time
  • Improve memory
  • Ease stress

Studies show that a nap can help keep you more consistent. When you do a task repeatedly throughout the day, your performance worsens as the day goes on.

Naps can help you excel further up the corporate ladder, not only by helping you remember things you’ve just learned. But they could also support by allowing your brain to draw connections and connect the dots easier. >

Napping Drawbacks:

Napping isn’t for everyone. And sometimes it can have its drawbacks, which can include:

  • Sleep inertia.
    Feeling dizzy or disoriented after waking up from a nap.

  • Nighttime sleep problems.
    If you experience insomnia at night, napping may worsen these problems.

 

Best Way to Nap:

  • Keep naps short.
    Aim for a 10-30 minute nap. The longer you nap, the more groggy you’ll feel when waking up.

  • Take naps in the early afternoon.
    Napping after 3 pm can interfere with nighttime sleep.

  • Create a restful environment.
    Nap in a quiet, dark place with no distractions and comfortable room temperature.

After napping, give yourself some time to wake up before resuming activities. Particularly those that require a sharp response.

 

Interesting Facts about Napping:

  • Naps are better than caffeine.
    If you have work to get done, you may be better off taking a nap than sipping coffee. Compared to caffeine, napping brings better memory and learning. 
  • Naps can release stress and improve immune health.
    Even 30-minute naps will do the trick!
  • Naps are good for your heart and can help you recover from pressure-filled situations.
    A study found that people who napped had lower blood pressure after experiencing mental stress.
  • Naps can help you sleep at night.
    For older adults, taking a nap during the day can improve sleep at night. For example, a 30-minute nap between 1 and 3 pm, combined with moderate exercise, can help improve nighttime slumber.

 

Small Naps = Big Benefits

A nap as short as 10 minutes can be beneficial. But remember to keep your naps under 30 minutes or less so you don’t wake up feeling more tired. The longer you nap, the more likely you are to experience inertia. The worse the grogginess, the more time you will need to wake up and transition back to work.

 

REFERENCES:

Napping: Do's and don'ts for healthy adults

Health Benefits of Napping

 

Written by: Melissa Ureten