Forget everything you have been told about napping. Forget about how you might have read that it is bad for you. Forget about the things said about it drastically damaging your sleep. Forget about napping being just for children.
Did you know that more than 85% of the mammal population sleep for short periods throughout the day, i.e. they nap? In fact, so many animals spend their days napping, that we are actually the exception to the norm. We are one of the few species that has adapted in such a way that we don’t necessarily need to nap to survive, and in some cases too much napping can be too much of a good thing. But we are also unique in that we are one of the few species that is not getting our daily recommended amount of sleep, and this is where napping comes in.
Technically speaking, napping cannot make up for lost sleep. Because in reality, sleep lost is sleep that cannot be recovered. That being said, napping when you are really in need of emergency shut-eye can improve your life and give you a sunny, more positive outlook on the world around you. Seriously, napping can have that effect; as you know the more rested you are the more positive you are likely to be.
The three types of napping
Believe it or not, napping is not all the same. There is the unexpected nap that leaps out and lures you to slumber when you were just resting your eyes, there is the planned nap that you have been thinking about during those long shifts and then there is the habitual nap which is just something that you do every day at the same day. Habitual napping is what children and new mothers do.
If you are looking to regain your energy and improve your overall alert state of mind, the recommended amount of sleep is between 20 and 30 minutes. Anything more than this and you might end up with what feels like a sleep hangover; think headaches, drowsiness that doesn’t go away and generally just not feeling too great!
You will also need to make sure that you choose the right time of the day to nap. Early morning is not the right time because you’ve just woken up, and if you leave it too late into the evening, you are likely to completely disrupt your sleeping patterns. The middle of the day is generally the best time to get some shut-eye. And anyone who accuses you of being too old to nap (or too young depending on who you are talking to) or if they accuse your napping as being a symbol of your laziness, read this: Napping can actually be a cure for the lazy, as lazy is often the result of being tired.
So what was it that science was saying about napping?
Serial nappers are going to love this information; it is the validation that you might have always been looking for. Research into sleep is one of those ongoing things and we are always learning something new about sleep. It is such an interesting and complex part of our lives, and often we know very little about it. So here is what science has uncovered:
- Nap and you will be more alert
When you think about it, this makes sense. For many of us, napping is something that we do when we are tired and need to rest. And when you are tired you are unlikely to be able to focus very well. A nap of between 20 and 30 minutes can help to rejuvenate your mind and help to improve your alertness. This can be very important if you are working in a demanding job that requires you to be awake and alert.
- Napping prevents burnout
Modern living has many downsides and one of those is burnout. You have probably felt as though you have been on the verge of burnout many times before. It is the feeling that you are mentally and perhaps physically drained. The effects of burnout on the brain can be terrible because when you get to this state of mind your brain has no more resistance. If you are working all day on your computer, you are more susceptible to burnout, so for every few hours that you are staring at the screen, you could be in need of a nap.
- Nap and lower your blood pressure
Those who are battling high blood pressure could improve their condition by indulging in a midday nap. Research done by the European Society of Cardiology showed that patients who napped had lower blood pressure when compared to those who had similar blood pressure but didn’t nap.
- Napping can relieve stress
Who isn’t stressed these days? Life is fast, life is expensive and there always seems to be something to worry about or something that needs to be done. When you nap you are helping your body to relax which is exactly what you need to release the stress. You might be wondering how you are going to drift off when you are already stressed? Well, just resting in a calm environment can have benefits that are as helpful as napping.
- Nap to boost your productivity
Think having a snooze in the afternoon during a workday is a sign of laziness? It is actually quite the opposite. Napping can refresh you enough to have you ready to be just as productive in the afternoon as you were in the morning. A short power nap is just the right thing for those who are looking to increase their energy and it is a great remedy for workers who are worn out and sleep deprived.
The health benefits, both mental and physical, of the siesta are an undeniable reason to nap today. And anyone who says otherwise should read this and do a bit of research before they disregard the benefits of having a nap.
How about napping on a new bed? The bed that you rest on plays a vitally important role in your sleep so when you next think about why you are not feeling as rested as you should after sleeping or napping, one of the first things to consider is whether or not you need a new bed. At The Mattress Warehouse, we have a wide selection of new beds for sale.