If you’re like most people, you’re assailed frequently by drowsiness between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee, try taking a nap, as a sleep expert found it offers benefits similar to caffeine, but without the side effect of disrupting sleep at night.
You have no reason to feel guilty for napping because it’s an investment that pays off handsomely.
Benefits of Napping
Dr. Nicole Lovato, postdoctoral research fellow from Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, Flinders University, reported in The Conversation that regular nappers feel more alert in the afternoon compared to those who only occasionally indulge in the practice. All the information below is taken from her article.
Another research group discovered that motor learning, which is a change in brain pathways in response to learning a new skill, was significantly better after a brief nap. Other benefits of napping include improvements in reaction times, cognitive functioning, mood and short-term memory.
How Long to Nap
The benefits of taking power naps of 10 to 15 minutes usually last for several hours. They have the advantage of not causing after-nap sluggishness that sometimes is associated with longer naps. Research indicates a brief early-to-mid-afternoon nap produces more benefits than naps taken at other times of the day. Nonetheless, for those struggling with drowsiness, a brief nap at any time can promote alertness.
In general, the longer you nap, the longer you will feel refreshed afterward. A long nap of one to two hours may result in a longer length of time required to fall asleep at night. However, if that isn’t a problem, time your nap for 1.5 hours; this will involve deep sleep for an hour, followed by light sleep for the remaining half-hour. Waking up during light sleep promotes a rejuvenated feeling, while waking up during deep sleep may cause temporary sluggishness.
People nap for various reasons, including catching up on sleep, to avoid feeling sleepy later, or simply for enjoyment. Approximately 50 percent of us take a nap once a week. Naps are more popular in countries like Mexico, Greece and Brazil, which have a siesta in the early afternoon; as much as 72 percent of people in these cultures nap up to four times a week.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.