Napping gets a bad rap. Many people think that napping is for lazy, old, or mentally weak individuals. However, napping is common among mammals. Look at how much time your dog or cat spend napping. It’s impressive. It only makes sense that we could all benefit from a regular nap.
Why aren’t you taking advantage of naps? You might be making a big mistake.
See how napping can bring you many physical and psychological benefits:
- Less fatigue. Studies have shown that napping is a poor substitute for a good night of sleep when it comes to physical restoration. For example, you won’t recover better from an intense workout by taking naps. However, you will feel less tired and refreshed if you take a nap.
- Greater alertness. Alertness is significantly improved with naps. You know that dreaded feeling of physical and mental fatigue that hit you in the afternoon? A nap is perfect for overcoming that. You’ll feel like a new person.
- Greater focus. With alertness comes greater focus. You’ll daydream less and find it easier to control your attention. If you’re struggling later in the day to keep your mind on task, a nap might be the answer.
- Enhanced mood. Naps have been shown to increase contentedness. Who doesn’t feel a little better after a good nap?
- Greater performance. If you’re less tired, more alert, more focused, and are in a better mood, you’re going to perform at a higher level. Naps are magical.
- Enhanced learning and memory. Certain types of learning and memory are greatly enhanced by napping. If you’re taking a night class, a nap beforehand is a good idea. College students should consider napping during the day, too. If your memory is less than ideal, try a nap and see if it helps.
- More productive hours. A nap seems to reset your brain. It’s like you have a whole new day ahead of you. An afternoon nap can give you several more hours of productivity. Consider how little you probably get done later in the day now. That time might best be used for napping.
- Boost immune system. Countless studies have shown a positive effect of naps on immune function. Naps can help to keep you healthy. Naps are especially helpful during flu season. A nap a day might keep the doctor away better than an apple a day.
- Improved physical stamina. Physical stamina is strengthened with naps. This has been demonstrated in athletes, soldiers, and regular people. Do you feel weak and ineffectual? A nap might be in order.
A few final tips to keep in mind:
- Determine the proper amount of time to nap. This varies with the person. Naps from 30-60 minutes work best for most people, but each person is a little different. Experiment and see what works best for you.
- Use an alarm. If you’re worried about oversleeping, you’ll be less likely to fall asleep and sleep soundly.
- Be consistent. You might feel a little groggy the first few times you try napping. Stick with it. Try to be consistent with your napping schedule, and your body will adapt.
Napping costs nothing, feels good, and benefits your mind and body in so many ways. You’ll accomplish more and smile more while doing it. Avoid believing the naysayers and test it out for yourself. Napping is a great tool for increasing productivity and performance.