Is Napping Useful?
We all love a good nap but there are a lot of questions on whether a nap harms you more then it helps you. There have been several studies done to find the answer to this question. These studies have covered the length of a nap, the time of day you nap, what the side effects are from not taking a nap, and the health benefits of taking a nap.
Most everyone gets that drop in the energy and productivity in the afternoon. This lull usually occurs between 1-3 pm. This happens because your body’s internal clock or the circadian rhythm slows during this time period. Basically, the longer you are awake the weaker your body’s internal signal becomes. Some people require a nap and others can power through this lull and make it to bedtime.
Children and elderly people usually require naps more often than any other age. Most of the time adults have schedules that generally do not allow time for an afternoon nap. If there is time then research shows there are some guidelines that should be followed so the nap does not affect your sleep pattern at night.
Guidelines for Napping
- Keep your nap short- You will want to only nap for 20-30 minutes and some people can even get away with napping up to an hour. Anything longer will affect your sleep pattern at night and may also make you moody or feel like you are in a fog.
- Nap earlier in the day- Napping anytime before 3 pm is an acceptable time to nap. The earlier you take a nap the more tired your body will feel when it is your regular bedtime.
- Choose a good spot- This is very important. You will want to be comfortable and have a quiet area to be able to get in a good power nap.
- Allow yourself to nap- Many people think that napping is taboo and you need to prepare your mind that it is beneficial to nap.
Taking a short nap has benefits for your health and body.
Benefits of Napping
- Improved mood- Who doesn’t want to wake up in a better mood to complete the rest of their day!
- More alert- Your mind will not feel so drained and you will be more alert. This can help you finish a project or power through the rest of your day.
- Less tired- Your body will feel refreshed and you will not feel so fatigued.
- Cognitive Performance- You will be able to concentrate and your mind will be able to process information better.
Naps can be a very beneficial thing as long as certain guidelines are followed. They can make you feel refreshed and more alert. So the short answer is napping has been proven useful. If you notice taking naps starts to interfere with your regular sleep patterns then you should look into why this is happening. Are you getting enough sleep at night? Are the naps too long or too late in the day? It is a trial and error but anything that will help you feel less tired in this world is worth a shot!