If you’ve ever felt “guilty” about your afternoon nap, it’s time to let go of that guilt! Listen to your body when you need it, and know that by taking time for a power nap, you really are doing your body a whole lot of good!
Here are 10 Benefits of Power Napping
- Adequate sleep strengthens your immune system. While asleep, the body secretes higher amounts of hormones (Somatropin or Human Growth Hormone). This stimulates growth in skin and tissue cells, repairs tiny tears in the muscles (such as from running and/or strength training), helps heal injuries, and strengthens your bones.
- Adequate sleep helps you maintain a healthy weight. If you are not tired, you may be more likely to make healthier food choices.
- Taking a nap may increase your ability to concentrate and help you to remember things better. On the contrary, inadequate sleep may disrupt patterns of concentration and the ability to work and drive. As per the National Safety Council, fatigue (along with alcohol) is the main cause of traffic accidents. An estimated 100,000 traffic accidents per year in the US are the result of driving while drowsy.
- You may be more productive after a power nap.
- Adequate sleep helps you to stay looking younger, longer.
- Napping lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke (by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure).
- A power nap improves your mood! On the contrary, inadequate sleep may disrupt your moods or cause irritability.
- A short break (in the form of a power nap) may help you to relax and reduce your stress level.
- Adequate sleep has a positive effect on your memory. During waking hours, your brain stores what you’ve learned in a kind of temporary storage. While sleeping, the information is fixed in your long-term memory. For example, if you learn new vocabulary in a foreign language before going to bed, you’ll retain it much better.
- If you’re having a difficult time fitting in at least seven consecutive hours of sleep (in one long stretch), you may be able to sneak in extra snooze time in the form of a power nap. Think of your favorite pet or animal. See below for Tips!
Good To Know:
A power nap should last no longer than 20 minutes. If you sleep longer, you will enter deep sleep (and that is exactly what you want to avoid!). The best thing is to set an alarm.
Tips for How to Power Nap:
- Choose the Right Time: A nap at midday or in early afternoon may give you an energy boost. A late-afternoon snooze, on the other hand, may disrupt your nightly sleep cycle.
- Drink Coffee Before Your Power Nap: It takes 20 minutes for your body to feel the effect of the caffeine so it’s okay to drink a cup before a power nap. When you wake up, you’ll get an extra kick of energy.
- Make Yourself Comfortable: If you work from home, it’s easy to work in a nap at lunchtime – you can sleep in your bed or get cozy on the couch. Taking a power nap at work requires a little more planning. Perhaps there is a nap room at work you may use. If not, you will have to make the best of it at your desk. Cross your arms on the desk and place your head on top. Or lean back in your office chair as far as possible. Relaxing music (with headphones) may help you to tune out background noises.
- Get Your Blood Pumping: Your blood pressure may drop after a nap, so people sometimes wake up feeling more tired than they did before. Therefore, it is important to stimulate your circulation after a power nap. The best way to do this is by drinking a glass of water (try an infused one with lime and basil!) or doing a little exercise. Walking upstairs or stretching are two great ways to increase your heart rate.
Copyright Avidon Health