Most of us find it difficult to get through the day without an afternoon nap. But some people consider it to be a sign of laziness. Is it really so?
But the ongoing debate on whether your noon siesta does good or bad to you is a never-ending one. Do you ever find yourself wondering why you needed an afternoon nap?
It’s not a sign of laziness, but of good health. Our body signals us to rest when our energy levels take a dip during the early afternoon hours.
The National Sleep Foundation states that a quick afternoon nap of 20 minutes can give you an instant boost and even improve your performance through the rest of the evening. You may be skeptical whether a nap during daytime might leave you feeling drowsy or affect your night’s sleep.
But, experts say that your short afternoon nap has no linkage with your night’s sleep.
However, longer hours of naps can create a “sleep hangover,” otherwise known as sleep inertia, which can disturb your sleep cycle. I would constantly find myself feeling guilty about taking an afternoon nap, but when I came to know about its health benefits, I napped guilt-free.
A nap is much more than just leisure. It has the power to lift your spirits and enhance attention at work.
Here are a few ways an afternoon nap can benefit you.
Do you feel tired in the afternoon? That is because of mental and physical strain. A peaceful snooze can keep your mind and body relaxed throughout the day. During the day, we might end up feeling exhausted or disoriented, but a nap can fix that.
A daytime nap reboots our entire system and leaves us feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
2. Reduced Fatigue
Most of us tend to catch a few winks at work. Lack of rest or overworking can strain you completely. And, as a result of the fatigue, you are barely able to hang on and try to feel better with gallons of caffeine.
If you think an afternoon nap can make it worse, you are mistaken. Taking a short nap can get rid of the fatigue and uplift your mood.
3. Improved Performance
Many factors can affect our performance at work, one of them being the lack of alertness. We lose focus when our mind lingers or is tired. A quick afternoon nap might give you better chances at a presentation.
Trust me when I say that! Many employers are now coming around to the idea that a “well-rested workforce is a more productive workforce.”
4. Better Mood
Well, it’s a no-brainer that lack of rest can make you cranky. When your body and mind are tired, anything and everything can irritate you. And this can ruin your entire day. So, if you ever find yourself warming up to the idea of a quick snooze, good. It is the perfect way to lighten up your mood.
A snooze of 15-30 minutes is the best way to give your mood a makeover. You will feel refreshed and in a pleasant mood.
5. Boosted Creativity
If you are working on a project and are running out of interesting ideas, it can be quite frustrating. Studies have shown that a power nap can boost your mind and give you fresh ideas. Your mind is more open to exploring new concepts, and this will enhance your process of creative thinking.
It can help eliminate any blocks in your mind and boost your memory.
6. Calmer Nerves
A study found that just the thought of a nap can relax your nerves and is enough to lower blood pressure. With planned napping, the mind is conditioned to believe that the upcoming nap is set to relax your mind.
Such strategic napping has proved to keep the blood pressure levels healthy. Not getting enough sleep can increase the risk of heart disease, depression, and other complications. Hence, an afternoon siesta is very useful in decreasing the blood pressure levels.
Don’t let the snooze exceed an hour. It will only cause more damage than good. While napping is still associated with several false stigmas that include laziness and lack of health or ambition, it is not completely false. Short naps don’t typically affect your sleep quality at night.
On the contrary, it is the long hours of naps through the day that can cause a lack of proper rest at night. It is recommended that patients with insomnia or depression avoid napping in the afternoon as the chances of disturbed sleep at night can lead to other complications.
Hence, those who are depressed or are suffering from other health conditions should avoid taking too much rest in the afternoon to prevent sleep inertia at night.
In spite of some side effects, afternoon naps have much good to offer. A proper nap limited to half an hour or less can enhance your overall health. Sleep, along with napping, is just as necessary as diet or exercise – it keeps your body fresh and free from lethargy.
You may think the only solution to stay alert is consuming caffeine in copious quantities, but a quick snooze can do you equal good. So, the next time you need some rest, don’t feel guilty. Go for a light snooze, and you will notice all the good it can do.