10 Amazing Benefits of Taking A Nap
As children, taking a nap was literally the last thing we wanted to do. We were tiny balls of energy that didn’t want to stop doing stuff until it was time for bed. But as you get older, the desire to take a quick cat nap in the afternoon or early evening is strong.
But should you really do it?
Adults get a bad rep for taking naps. I take naps regularly, but I have friends who can’t understand it. They think it makes me lazy, or that I need to see a doctor about my “tiredness problem.”
But when you tell me that some of our most productive geniuses took naps, they quickly pipe down. Leonardo, for example, was a napper, as were Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. Napping doesn’t mean you’re lazy – it actually means you’re smart.
Here are 10 amazing benefits of taking a nap:
Taking Naps Can Boost Your Alertness
Our energy often beings to dip in the afternoon, and it can be really frustrating when it does. You’ve still got a few hours left of work, but you can feel yourself growing sleepy and losing focus.
It happens to many of us, but there is an easy solution – a quick cat nap.
According to The National Sleep Foundation, a short twenty minute nap can boost both performance and alertness without that horrible groggy feeling that comes from a longer nap or sleep.
Taking Naps Can Boost Your Memory And Ability To Learn
There is no doubt about it – naps can enhance your working memory. Your working memory is involve day in, day out on complicated tasks which demand close attention and focus on one thing, while trying to store a whole lot of other stuff in your memory. It isn’t easy – and it needs you to help it out.
You can do this by napping. It is during sleep when our memories tighten together, and napping straight after you’ve just learned something will increase the chances of you remembering that new knowledge.
Taking Naps Can Prevent Burnout
Are you constantly on the go? If you are, you might find yourself burning out. Indeed, executive burnout is more than just a buzzword – it’s a very real thing that can lead to stress, frustration and even depression.
Nobody can work 50+ hours a week without it taking its toll on their health and productivity. On those long 12 + hour days, it’s important that you take a break in the form of a nap in order to recharge your batteries.
Taking a nap gives you a fresh start and relieves stress. Your cognitive functioning goes up, and you can avoid burnout.
Taking Naps Can Improve Your Health
Without enough sleep, your body will produce too much cortisol, a stress hormone that deals with our flight or fight responses. Too much cortisol is a bad thing because it boosts abdominal fat and glucose intolerance, while simultaneously weakening our immune system. It also compromises our memory, and slows down our ability to learn.
The antidote to cortisol is growth hormone, which you release when you sleep. This hormone enhances your immune system, minimises stress and anxiety, and boosts muscle repair.
Taking Naps Can Heighten Your Sensory Perception
According to the book Take A Nap, Change Your Life by Dr. Sara C. Mednick, napping can heighten your sensory perception, restoring your sensitivity of hearing, sight and rase.
But napping also relaxes your mind in such a way that in enhances creative and allows brand new associations to develop within it.
And when it comes to establishing new connections, nappers have the advantage of folk who refuse to take an afternoon nap.
Taking Naps Can Improve Your Willpower
How hard is it to stay strong-willed when you’re feeling tired? Very hard. A nap helps you to refocus and make better decisions that suit you.
Taking Naps Can Minimise Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Cases of heart disease are on the rise around the world, but especially in the U.S., where it is the leading cause of death. And the thing with heart disease is that there are preventive measures we can take to reduce our risk of developing it.
And napping is by the easiest and most convenient way of cutting our risk.
People who take a midday nap around 3 times a week reduce their risk of developing heart disease by around 40%. Working men can reduce their risk by up to 64%!
According to research carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, “taking a nap could turn out to be an important weapon in the fight against coronary mortality.”
Taking Naps Can Calm Your Nerves
With so much going on in our lives in 2016, it’s small wonder that many of us have frayed nerves. Working longer hours and balancing our hectic social lives with out hectic work lives causes lots of people to suffer from burnout and stress, which in turn can cause snappiness, anxiety and even fear.
Napping is a fantastic way of calming you down. When you feel yourself getting tense during the day, take a break with a light nap.
Taking Naps Can Make You More Productive
One thing many of us struggle with is productivity. Being more productive is a goal we’d all like to fulfil, but with so many distractions going on, it can be hard to achieve this goal.
And it becomes ever harder when we start to feel tired.
Managing your energy is super important if you’re to get anywhere in life. And napping is a fantastic way of doing just that. Studies have shown that workers slow down as the day goes on. Just think about yourself and how your productivity wanes through the afternoon.
A quick twenty-minute nap is all that is needed to boost your performance and get you back in the zone.
Taking Naps Can Save You Money
Can napping save you money? You bet it can.
Think of it like this: Many of us say that we simply can’t get through the day without a few cups of coffee. But how much is that coffee costing you in the long-run? For a cheaper way of boosting your energy levels, taking a nap here and there makes a lot of sense.
Do you know other benefits of taking naps?
Stay happy and healthy!