Everything You Need to Know About the Benefits of Napping

Napping is not just for the babies. A research found that an afternoon nap is proved great for adults as well. Don’t feel guilty of feeling lazy if you want to take a nap; a short mid-afternoon sleep can boost your productivity, be a mood raiser, improve your performance, keep you alert, and reduce stress.

Finding the time for naps during the day has lots of benefits. A short duration of, say, 10 to 20 minutes of snooze can make you feel charged up. Here we shall tell you everything that you should know about napping.

Nap vs. sleep

When you are napping for 10 to 20 minutes, you enter the early phases of sleep. This duration is enough to refresh you and shower you with more benefits. Whereas when you sleep, you complete all the 5 stages of the sleep cycle. When you enter a deep state of sleep, your brain responds less to external stimuli, and waking up becomes a challenge, which may increase the chances of tiredness.

What are the benefits of healthy naps?

Naps are scientifically proven. Here is a look at the benefits of a quick power nap.

Improve performance

Research found that a daytime nap ranging between 10 minutes to half an hour can boost your work productivity and performance. Naps are proved to enhance alertness, psychomotor speed and reaction time.

Enhance learning

A few studies found that napping during the daytime improves your learning skill and helps you with improved focus, and increases the ability to learn new things and retain them.

Reduces blood pressure

It is scientifically proven that a midday nap can reduce blood pressure. A study conducted by the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session found that midday sleep significantly lowers blood pressure levels along with other lifestyle changes like reducing alcohol and salt intake.

Mood enhancer

Napping can boost your mood. Short afternoon naps also boost your energy. They are also associated with an increase in positivity and a lowering of frustration.

A quick nap could help you if you didn’t have a good sleep the previous night. Many of you who find it a struggle to sleep properly at night and have tried calming beverages because of the sedative effects of tea can give a try to a midday nap is possible for you.

Herbal teas are known to help relax and unwind. If you suffer from sleep deprivation, you can explore the various calming tea available and find that best suits your taste. Herbal tea has a wide variety of benefits, and when you drink it, you can see the benefits. You can make a bedtime ritual of drinking herbal tea to induce a night of good sleep.

Are there any side effects of a daytime nap?

Though napping has numerous benefits, it has a few side effects on your health if not timed correctly or certain underlying health conditions.

If you nap for more than 20 minutes, you may end up feeling disoriented as your sleep inertia increases. This happens when you wake up from a deep sleep. If you are someone suffering from insomnia, this can affect your health. Napping late in the day can also interrupt your sleep cycle. Even long naps during the day are associated with a high risk of cardiovascular diseases.

How long should a power nap?

When you limit your nap between 10 to 20 minutes, you wake up alert and fresh. For more than 30 minutes, you will feel tired and groggy.

When is the best time to take a nap?

Though this depends on individual choice and other factors, for most people, napping in the early afternoon is the best thing that you can try for its benefits. If you rest after 3 pm, this can interfere with your night-time sleep.

What are the best way to nap?

To get the most benefit from napping, do the following:

  • Keep your naps short, specifically between 10 to 20 minutes. Kids can tolerate longer naps but adults may feel groggy.
  • Nap schedule in early noon.
  • Take nap in a restful ambience.

Nap for kids vs. adults

Children and adults have different needs regarding sleep, and this continues throughout life. Figuring out how much longer a nap you must have depends on your sleep at night.

For kids, this is the general recommendation:

Babies less than 6 months: upto 3 naps between 30 minutes to 2 hours for each

6 to 12 months: 2 naps a day, with a duration between 20 minutes to a few hours

1 to 3 years: one midday nap for 1 to 3 hours

3 to 5 years: one midday nap that lasts for 1 to 2 hours

5 to 12 years: No snooze required if they get complete sleep of 10 or 11 hours at night

A healthy grown-up doesn’t need a rest, but they can benefit from a rest that lasts anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes. Old people can benefit from a nap in the afternoon.

What happens when your body gets too much or too little sleep?

Neither too much nor too little sleep is good; both hint towards some underlying health issues. Oversleeping has been found to have linked with numerous conditions as listed below:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Early death

Even too little sleep can have adverse effects on your health. Without adequate sleep, you feel sleepy during the day hours, feel irritability and perform poorly at work.

Other effects of sleep deprivation

  • Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Lesser sex drive
  • Increased risk of accidents
  • Trouble in maintaining focus
  • Memory loss

 Final thoughts

Napping may be considered a luxury, but a short midday sleep for a few minutes actually has many health benefits. You can try this amidst your extremely hectic time schedule. Managing just even 10 minutes a day during the day when you can lie down and close your eyes, you can reap numerous health benefits.