What if we told you that you could run faster, get smarter, look better, and live longer in just 20 minutes? It’s easy to do – so easy in fact, you could do it in your sleep. We’re talking about naps – and if you aren’t taking them, you’re missing out on a lot more than some extra shut-eye. Read on to discover the incredible benefits of taking a nap.
Why Should I Nap?
The afternoon dip in energy is quite normal. As part of our biological rhythm, 8 hours of rest a night is far from being all the sleep we need. There’s a lot to be gained, both physically and psychologically, from taking a midday snooze, but most Americans rely on a cup (or three) of coffee to keep them functional. There’s only so much that caffeine can do when you’re feeling tired, groggy, or mentally sluggish.
Over 90% of adults in the United States consume caffeine regularly. However, your daily cup of joe may not be as miraculous as you think it is. In a study published in Psychology Today, doctors found that between naps, caffeine, and getting more nighttime rest, naps were the most beneficial.
Naps Increase Cognitive & Physical Performance
Being sleepy is similar to being intoxicated. Neurons are slower to respond to visual stimuli, causing your reaction time to be much slower. Napping is regenerative for the mind and within a 20-30 minute rest:
- Alertness and concentration returns, driving off the naturally occurring cloud of fatigue and improving thought processing capabilities
- Growth hormones are emitted, resulting in the repair of bodily tissues and muscles (great for recovery or preparing for upcoming exertion)
Naps Improve Your Memory
Learning and memories are solidified during sleep. Neural connections get stronger when we rest, and new ideas/images are taken from short-term to long-term memory in the brain. If you want to reinforce something you’ve been studying, take a nap a few hours after you’ve learned it.
Naps Improve Your Mood
Lack of sleep creates a hormonal imbalance, which is what causes irritability and crankiness. Your brain has more negative feelings and loses the ability to regulate those feelings which can lead to more outbursts and rage. When you have a midday rest helps your muscles relax, heart rate slows, and your chemical balance is restored.
Naps Reduce Stress (and a LOT of other Health Risks)
Naps increase the amount of time one spends in delta, which is the deepest, most relaxing stage of sleep one can be in. Blood pressure drops, your immune system gets a boost, and your hormonal levels are more balanced. Besides leaving you happy, mini nap breaks will leave you a lot healthier. Perhaps, more important than what naps provide, is what naps stave off: sleep deprivation, which has severe negative long-term health effects. Scientists agree, less sleep means a shorter lifespan.
Sleep On it
Nothing compares to a good night’s rest – or so you might’ve thought. The recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep has amazing restorative benefits on the body but is far from all the rest your body needs to perform well.
Dozens of other scientifically-backed studies (like those from the University of California, Cornell, or Harvard) attest to the healing power of napping. The benefits of taking a nap have been proven to help compensate for the lack of a proper night’s rest and offset those detrimental effects.
You know sleep is important (no matter how short) but if you’re not getting quality sleep, you’re depriving your body of the benefits. Make sure you’re sleeping on the best mattress to make use of the amazing benefits your nap has to offer. Check out Mattress World’s selection of high-quality, eco-friendly mattresses today, and get the best sleep of your life, tonight.