In industrialized societies, naps can be seen as a sign of decadence that conflict with the need for achievements. Napping interrupts your work schedules, and therefore it will decrease your productivity. Stigmas are also developed to describe how bad naps are.
Recent studies have shown that those stigmas are not completely true. Naps can actually contribute to the enhancement of our performance and our overall health. A short nap can boost alertness and productivity; improve memory; reduce stress; and lower the risk of certain health problems like heart attack and stroke, diabetes, and excessive weight gain.
You may consider the following tips to get the best advantages of taking a nap:
- Researchers found that taking a 30-minute nap three times a week may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease for about 37%. According to their research, a healthy nap should not more than 45 minutes and prime napping time falls in the middle of the day, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- Research on napping suggests that an afternoon nap as short as ten minutes can enhance alertness, mood, and mental performance, especially after a night of poor sleep.
- Several studies also suggest that polyphasic sleep in the form of 30 minute naps taken regularly (every 4 hours) is the only way to reduce nocturnal sleep below 5-6 hours and still maintain performance.
- A short nap is usually recommended (20-30 minutes) for short-term alertness. This type of nap provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.
- To have a quality nap, make sure that you have a restful place to lie down and that the temperature in the room is comfortable. Try to limit the amount of noise heard and the extent of the light filtering in.
- Timing is also important. If you take a nap too late in the day, it might affect your nighttime sleep patterns and make it difficult to fall asleep at your regular bedtime. If you try to take it too early in the day, your body may not be ready for more sleep.