You might never have given napping much of a thought, or simply considered yourself too busy to take an afternoon nap. However, the National Sleep Foundation has found out that cutting our days into distinct periods of time between sleeping and wakefulness may not be a natural pattern for humans. Taking naps during the day shouldn’t be for kids only, as they benefit us in many ways.
Firstly, napping is great for the memory, and just recently, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found out in their study how much improvement we get in our memories simply by taking naps frequently. The study was carried out by allowing the subjects to do several word puzzles in the morning. They eventually realized that those who took a nap between tasks were able to remember what they learned better than those who didn’t take a nap.
Below are 3 health benefits of napping that you should know about:
1. Increased alertness
Taking naps will make you more alert than you were before the nap. It doesn’t matter if you still feel sleepy when you get up; just allow some time to fully wake, and you will realize that you have increased alertness. Several studies have proven this, and one of them is a NASA study that found out that a 40 minute nap can increase alertness by 100%.
A larger percentage of us get tired and foggy as the day rolls by and we find out that we aren’t as active as when we started the day. In this case you can break up your day with a quick nap to regain your alertness.
2. Improved memory
As mentioned earlier, napping is great for improving the memory. You are more likely to remember something you learn for the first time, if you take a nap, better than if you don’t take a nap at all. How improved your memory will be can also be determined by the number of minutes that you spend napping. 90-minute naps really allow your brain to retain information much more effectively, and while fewer minutes of napping are also effective, they may not be as helpful as longer ones.
3. Improved physical health
Your blood vessels tend to become less flexible when you do not rest well, and this can obstruct blood circulation. Studies on napping have shown that blood pressure can be reduced from 140/80 down to 130/80, which is almost close to the ideal blood pressure- 120/80. You also benefit your immune system when you take naps, because when you sleep, growth hormones are released and they are associated with a boost in immunity, weight loss, muscle repair, and even reduced stress.
If you never had a reason to take naps at all, now you do, having discussed these important benefits. You can take out 20 minutes of your day to nap, and wake up more alert, with an improved memory, and be less stressed.
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