5 Ways Napping Can Make You Invincible
Napping offers a wide variety of positive benefits when you’re sleep deprived, know you’ll experience sleep loss when working late, or are simply feeling drained. When done at the right time and for the right length of time, naps can deliver just the boost you need to be at your best.
Napping has been stigmatized as ‘lazy’ by many people for a couple of centuries, but public opinion is starting to turn as we learn more about sleep science.
This stigma can be seen in the research by the National Sleep Foundation who found that while 74% of women get less sleep per night than men, women feel guiltier about napping.
The change in public opinion about napping can be seen by looking at notable companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, Capital One Labs, CISCO, Google, Huffington Post, Nike, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thrive Global, Uber, and Zappos who not only support napping, but offer facilities for staff to catch a quality nap.
1. General Health
Studies show short naps can help your health in five primary ways:
- Combat fatigue
- Boost alertness
- Boost immunity
- Improve motor skills
- Reduce stress
2. Brain Boost – Coffee + A Naps for the Win
Caffeine temporarily makes you feel more alert by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production, but it comes with an inevitable crash since it’s a stimulant. On the other hand, a nap delivers a boost to your brain’s learning capacity, improves alertness, and generally improves your brain’s cognitive abilities and doesn’t come with a crash. For best results, pair them up by drinking a cup of coffee just before you take a 20-minute nap to enjoy the maximum impact for energy levels.
Naps improve performance, reaction time, memory and alertness. A NASA study on napping and performance found that a 40-minute nap improves performance by 34% and alertness by 100%.
An estimated 16% of American companies are incorporating nap facilities into the workplace.
Napping improves your mood and delivers other psychological benefits. Research shows that not only do naps provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation during the day, people who nap report improved mood, feeling less agitated, and higher feelings of well-being.
5. Hormone Health
Data suggests a 30-minute nap can even reverse the hormonal impact of a poor night’s sleep. Specifically, naps appeared to restore hormones and proteins involved in stress and immune function to normal levels in the study.
Feeling a need to nap a lot?
If you find yourself wanting to nap every day or multiple times a day without an obvious cause like shift work, having a new baby, constantly interrupted sleep by work or a loved one, or other obvious non-medical cause, it’s time to find out what’s going on. You may be part of the 22% of Americans who have a sleep disorder that’s disrupting your nighttime sleep. Take our online Sleep Assessment today for insights and answers to your sleep problems and schedule an appointment with your personal physician to order a home sleep test from Vitalistics.