It’s about time that naps were taken more seriously.
It’s no lie that in a modern society, many of us are sleep deprived, so much so that power naps may actually be of benefit to us all.
Napping could so effective that it may help boost our brains, improving problem solving, verbal memory, perceptual learning, object learning and statistical learning. This in turn will improve our reaction time, help with math, logical reasoning, treat fatigue and of course, improve our moods.
The benefits don’t end there – this aids to alleviate stress, assists in weight management, better heart health and lowers blood pressure.
Based on the National Sleep Foundation, naps can be put into three different categories:
— Planned napping (also known as preparatory napping) involves taking a nap before one actually gets sleepy. This technique can be used to prevent tiredness and fatigue, or when one knows that he will be up later than the normal bed time
— Emergency napping occurs when one suddenly feels very tired and cannot go on with the activity he was engaged in at that time. This nap type often helps to treat drowsy driving or fatigue while using heavy and dangerous machinery.
— Habitual napping is a routine practiced when a person takes a nap at the same time each day. Young children usually fall asleep at about the same time every afternoon, or adults take a short name every day after lunch.
A Greek study found that adult men who napped 3 times a week were 37% less likely to die from heart related illness compared to others who didn’t nap.
Many countries customarily nap too. Think of the famous siesta in Spain. The USA and UK likewise are not very supportive of napping in the afternoons and both countries suffer the most heart attacks worldwide as the leading cause of death.
Not only do naps improve mental function, they also provide physiological benefits, boosting rejuvenation.
In 1995, NASA came forth with a groundbreaking study in which they evaluated the effects of 747 pilots taking naps, allowed 40 min a day. The findings revealed vigilance performance improvements from 16% in median reaction time to 34% in lapses compared to the No-Rest Group.
In 2008, studies showed that naps actually work better than caffeine when it comes to improving mental functioning.
A short nap has many benefits, the length will determine the benefits you’ll experience:
20 Minute Nap – It enhances memory, mental alertness, and motor learning skills.
20 To 30 Minute Nap – It boosts creativity and boosts memory.
30 To 60 Minute Nap – It enhances decision-making skills and memory
60 To 90 Minute Nap – It ensures REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, so it is the most beneficial nap type. It helps you reset the brain, and has a dramatic effect on the problem-solving skills.
Therefore, we could all definitely benefit from a nap during the day, unless you suffer from a sleeping disorder – you may find that napping could hinder your already trying sleeping pattern.