If you’re like most people, you probably find it harder and harder to get through your days without indulging in a short nap.
Why Afternoon Naps Are A Sign Of Health, Not Laziness
If you’re like most people, you probably find it harder and harder to get through your days without indulging in a short nap. Perhaps you like to take them in the afternoon, or whenever you find the time in between your busy schedule. No matter when you nap, it probably seems like the naps choose you rather than you choosing them.
You might actually feel guilty for needing so much sleep. You probably even call yourself lazy for taking time to rest throughout the day. Perhaps you’ve thought about exercising or changing your diet to try to improve your activity levels. But the truth is that you shouldn’t feel guilty about these naps at all.
Your guilt from taking naps comes from the stereotype that naps are only for babies and small children. You feel like you should have grown out of this phase by now, but the truth is, even elderly people take naps.
If you do research on why naps are so essential to our lives, you’ll find a lot of information. Even The National Sleep Foundation recommends that we take 20 to 30-minute naps during the day in order to improve our alertness and reach our peak performance.
And if you’re worried about sleeping at night, they maintain that these naps won’t interrupt your nightly slumber or leave you with a drowsy feeling. Their foundation explains that there are three different types of naps. The first is called planned napping, which is a type of nap where you plan it out, instead of waiting to become sleepy.
The second type is emergency napping, when you feel a sense of overwhelming sleepiness and need to rest before you can continue on with your day. The last type of napping they describe is called habitual napping, where you try to nap in a similar time frame each and every day.
If your nap style is anything but the planned type of naps they describe, you might need to consider changing it up. In fact, planned napping can actually have increased benefits, as much research about our circadian rhythms shows that we need to keep our internal
body clocks stabilized.
Napping at the same time every day would greatly improve our body’s natural circadian rhythm, which can have positive effects on the rest of our bodies, such as stabilizing our hormones, keeping our body temperature regulated, keeping our metabolism in check, and boosting our immune system.
Energy levels vary from person to person, but many people find that their bodies need a rest between 1 and 3 o’clock pm. Because of this, you might find it opportune to take a rest right after you eat your lunch. This also ensures that your nighttime sleep won’t be affected, as the nap is early enough to avoid those issues.
These naps have a purpose to boost our internal systems and leave you feeling refreshed. If you find yourself feeling exhausted and confused after a nap, you might be making some crucial mistakes.
Tips For Maximizing The Benefits Of A Nap
- Set an alarm so you wake up from your nap on time.
- Make sure that you won’t be interrupted by loud noises such as televisions, radios, or sounds coming from outside your home.
- Reduce lighting in the home, closing all window coverings.
- Choose a comfortable sitting or lying position.
- Use a blanket in order to keep your body temperature regulated during sleep.
- Avoid sleeping for more than 30 minutes in order to reduce the feeling of drowsiness and grogginess that is known as sleep inertia.
- Lemon water mixed with honey can have great effects as a beverage before and after your nap.
- Make sure that you don’t have any plans immediately after the nap, as you may need time to fully wake back up and refresh your brain.
- Other ways to balance out your circadian rhythm include ensuring that you wake up around the same time each day. You should also be absorbing enough sunlight, so a walk outdoors in the morning hours can help. If you’re thinking about starting to set regular naps into your schedule, it can be hard to adjust to.
Our body’s internal clocks need around 30 consistent days for something to feel natural. A researcher from the Sleep Medicine and Research Center, named James K. Walsh, Ph.D., maintains that drinking coffee while you work or taking a nap before you have to work can help you stay awake during the day as well as alert and focused.
Even people that are considered heroes to us need naps. A study conducted by NASA using military pilots and even astronauts came back with some interesting conclusions. They found that 40-minute naps during the workday for these individuals greatly increased their performance, raising it by 34%.
They found that their alertness also increased by 100%. These workers also made fewer mistakes in the workplace and avoided more accidents. Additional studies have figured out that a lack of sleep can cause you to have problems with your emotions, either by blocking them or reacting to them too much.
Your speech can also be impaired by not receiving enough rest, and your overall functioning and activity levels will be skewed and inadequate.
This means that if you make sure that you’re well-rested throughout the day, you’re more likely to be better at processing your emotions and balancing out your feelings. This will cause you to be more rational and mentally healthy in the long run.
The truth is that you shouldn’t feel guilty about needing a nap throughout your day. It’s actually something that you should indulge in if you want to keep yourself balanced and healthy.
Although the time you may need to nap can differ from person to person, it’s okay to allow yourself this time to rest and rejuvenate. If you know anyone who loves naps, feel free to spread this information to them! Do you take a daily nap?
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Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation with your doctor. Your health is important to us!