Are you someone who struggles to get to sleep at night? Do you rely on naps to get enough sleep?
Sleep debt seems to be a reality in our fast-paced modern world. Naps have become the norm.
There has been much debate over the effectiveness and utility of naps. Many ask, “Are naps good or a necessary evil?” Do you need to take naps? If yes, for how long? Researchers have spent a lot of time trying to understand how naps work.
Let’s answer some commonly asked questions and end this debate once and for all.
Are naps beneficial?
NASA astronauts were surveyed and found that people who slept for 40 minutes had 34% higher alertness and a 100% better performance than those who did not nap. Naps can increase your cognitive function, performance, and alertness. Naps can also refresh your mind and give you energy for the rest of the work day.
A quick nap can reduce stress and boost your willpower. Studies have shown a link between napping and lower rates of heart disease. It is important to remember that naps cannot replace night-time sleep.
When is the best time to nap?
It is recommended to take a mid-afternoon nap between 2 and 3 pm. It is a good idea because your body naturally prefers sleep at this time of day. This slot is also early enough in the morning not to affect your ability to fall asleep at night. It would be best not to nap too close to bedtime as you might struggle to fall asleep and disrupt your sleep schedule.
Who should sleep?
Although naps are not recommended for those who work outside the 9-to-5 hours shift, they can be beneficial for anyone working remotely or studying for exams. It’s a good idea to take naps throughout the day for those who work remotely. A quick 15-minute nap during the afternoon can significantly affect productivity and job performance. Students who are required to study for exams or complete many assignments can benefit from naps. Naps can improve concentration and memory formation, which will help students do better in class or on exams.
What’s the downside?
Naps don’t work for everybody, just like almost all other things. Some people may feel disoriented, dizzy or impaired from naps. Although this usually does not last more than 10-20 minutes, it can be troublesome for people who have to perform tasks immediately after waking up. Sleep-deprived people may experience more severe and lasting impairments. Long-term sleep problems can be caused by a nap that is too short or too late.
What length of time should you take a nap?
This question is dependent on many factors. You will get an energy boost from a 20-minute nap. It is also easy to get up after this short nap. Even a 30-minute nap can cause grogginess. One-hour sleep has its pros and cons. It would improve short-term memory but also cause grogginess. A 90-minute nap allows for a complete REM sleep cycle, leading to increased creativity. However, it can also make it more difficult to fall asleep at night. You can choose the length that works best for you, depending on how long you have available and your night-time sleep habits.
The final verdict
Naps are not necessarily bad. It can be great for your mental and physical health, provided you don’t use it to replace night-time sleep. A short nap can help you reduce stress and increase productivity, focus, creativity, and efficiency.