Healthy Reasons to Take a Nap

Healthy Reasons to Take a Nap

In general, people mistakenly believe that napping isn’t necessary after a certain age. Whereas babies, toddlers, and young children are taking naps every day, adults refrain from doing the same. However, there are many healthy reasons why adults should consider taking a little nap in the afternoon. Here’s a list of the most beneficial ones:

Health Benefits of Napping

  1. Sharpened Brain

According to many studies, napping can sharpen your mind and improve your brain’s ability to interpret information. Plus, even short naps can boost brain function and efficiency. The reasoning behind this benefit is that napping reduces adenosine levels in the brain – a neurotransmitter that is very important for cognition.

  1. Improved Memory

Similar to the first one, napping can also improve memory. In other words, napping does not only help the brain interpret information, but also improves retention of newly learned information. What’s more, naps aid in memory consolidation which is a process of turning information into long-term memories.

  1. Enhanced Immunity

Next, napping can also help you boost your immune system and thus keep away from health issues. Namely, a short nap can reduce inflammatory cytokines and norepinephrine levels in the body. As a result of having lower levels of these chemicals, the immune system balance gets restored. Plus, a nap decreases stress which is key for the immune system, too.

  1. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

As if a stronger immune system isn’t enough, napping can also reduce the risk of having heart disease. To be more precise, one study showed that adults who took midday naps were more than 30% less likely to die of heart disease, compared to those who don’t take naps. One of the main reasons for this benefit is that napping helps in dealing with daily stress.

  1. Better Performance

Finally, researchers indicate that taking short naps in the afternoon can help you increase productivity and performance. Plus, it will help you improve alertness, speed up reaction time, and enhance logical reasoning abilities. So, if you are nodding off at your desk, you’d better consider napping.

How to Take Best Naps?

If you want to reap all the benefits a nap has to offer, you have to incorporate napping smartly. Here’s a brief list of some key steps for a successful nap:

  1. Limit your Napping Length

Typically, the best nap length ranges between 10 and 20 minutes. Such a nap enables restorative sleep without making the person feel drowsy after waking up. Hence, limit your napping time and set an alarm to wake you up on time.

  1. Nap Early in the Day

If you don’t want to face difficulties falling asleep at bedtime, you’d better incorporate napping early in the day. That is, try napping in the middle of your day – the halfway point between your waking time and bedtime.

  1. Create a Comfortable Environment

To be able to fall asleep easily, you should create a sleep-friendly environment. However, this mainly depends on where you are. Still, try to choose a comfortable space that is quiet, dark, and cool. Alternatively, use a sleep mask or noise-canceling headphones.

The bottom line, napping isn’t just for babies and children. The truth is, napping can positively affect both a person’s physical and mental health. Just ensure you do it right and cozy up to the above-listed nap benefits.