Adult Naps – the Why and the How
Too often, napping is discussed with a stigma; people who nap are lazy and irresponsible, or they say that napping is only for children. We are over it. Napping has health benefits and is often a more responsible choice than slurping down energy drinks or working slowly because you are tired.
Pros of Napping
- According to the National Sleep Foundation, napping improves mood, alertness, and performance.
- Sleep.org reports that naps improve motor skills and attention span.
- Naps allow your body to relax, helping decrease stress and relieve tension.
- Napping saves you money; choose a quick 30-minute nap instead of a $5 Starbucks for that pick-me-up. Plus, no post-caffeine crash.
- The Mayo Clinic says that napping improves reaction time and reflexes.
- Naps improve creativity in adults working on projects, National Geographic reports.
Tips for taking a great nap
- The National Sleep Foundation tells us that short naps (20-30 minutes) are best for increasing alertness.
- Don’t take a nap too late in the day. Napping too close to bedtime can mess with your sleeping schedule and make it hard for your body to adjust to a routine.
- Darkness is important for sleep; it signals to your body that it can relax. Napping in a dark room will help you fall asleep faster.
- Nap environment is important for the best nap. Choose a napping space that is room temperature so that your body doesn’t have to work to regulate.
Affects of sleep deprivationThe Huffington Post tells us that sleep deprivation can lead to major health problems such as:
- Weakened immune system
- Cognitive problems: decreased attention span, memory, reflex times
- Unable to put emotional experiences into context
- Increased desire to eat due to an increase in the hormone ghrelin
- Decreased sex drive