If you can’t last the whole day without taking a short nap, you’re not lazy and there’s nothing wrong with you. In fact, scientists have been able to prove that afternoon naps can increase your alertness and awareness and help your brain work far better for the rest of the day.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 20-30-minute naps every day as they can improve the function of your brain and your alertness as well.
There are 3 types of naps:
Emergency naps – when you’re exhausted and can’t go on without a nap;
Planned naps – napping every day no matter if you’re tired;
Habitual naps – taking a nap every day at the same time no matter if you’re feeling tired.
According to studies, naps can keep the circadian system active, which is why it’s best to take short naps every day. By napping at the same time every day, you can balance your hormones and body temperature, improve your metabolism and immune system and ensure that your body and brain are working properly. Naps will also improve your sleeping pattern and allow you to rest properly overnight.
According to experts, our energy levels tend to drop in the early afternoon, which is why naps work best if taken between 1-3 PM. Here’s a list of tips which will help you take advantage of all the benefits of taking an afternoon nap:
1. Naps should be kept short, so make sure to set an alarm so you don’t take a long nap which can have negative effects.
2. Nap in a completely quiet environment.
3. Make sure you’re taking a nap in a dark room.
4. Make sure to take a nap in a comfortable position.
5. Use a light blanket when napping as your body loses temperature when you’re asleep.
6. Never nap for more than half an hour.
7. Drink honey water before nap.
8. Make sure there’s still time after your nap to finish your work properly.
By taking naps and waking up at the same time of the day you will certainly improve your circadian rhythm. If you’re not napping in the afternoon, but want to try, don’t be discouraged if you’re groggy after the first day – resetting the internal clock is a process that lasts for about a month, and this is also the same time when you should benefit from all afternoon naps have to offer. According to James Walsh from the Sleep Medicine Center, drinking coffee while working can reduce the drowsiness during a day, but naps are the better choice.
Even NASA conducted studies on how naps affect their pilots and discovered that a 40-minute nap can improve their performance and alertness by 34% and 100% respectively. Several other studies have found that lack of sleep can cause numerous problems such as impaired judgement, emotional blockage and poor brain performance. Taking naps every day can reduce these symptoms and even improve your efficiency at work.
According to research, 10-minute naps work best, although some experts consider those lasting for 30 minutes better. There are different views on the ideal nap duration, so you should experiment and see what works best for you. If you’ve ever needed an excuse for a nap, you now have plenty.