6 Benefits of Napping During the Day
Think about your cell phone: What if you started using it at its highest capacity at 8 or 9 A.M.? It would be nearly out of power by 1 P.M. You might plug it in for a quick 20 minutes in between your busy schedule to give it just a little more power to work until you are able to go home.
The National Sleep Foundation finds that over 85% of mammals sleep for short periods of time throughout the day. Humans are mammals (Woohoo! Another fun fact.), but don’t typically partake in a quick midday snooze unless they are children, sick, or elderly. Plus, 1 in 3 American adults don’t even reach the minimum recommended 7 hours of sleep per night, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What if you treated your mind like your phone and recharged yourself for 10-20 minutes a day? These napping benefits may surprise you!
According to Sleep.org, “A 20-minute snooze is ideal to enhance motor skills and attention, while an hour to 90 minutes of napping brings Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which helps make new connections in the brain and can aid in solving creative problems.”
This can also mean that taking a nap in between 20 and 90 minutes may actually make you groggy—something called “sleep inertia.” After 20 minutes you go into a deeper sleep that is harder to wake from.
There are six areas where researchers believe naps can help us function more effectively. Napping can:
- Increase alertness
- Boost mood
- Decrease stress
- Help memory
- Save money (on that $5 midday caffeine boost)
- Improve attitude
7 Tips For the Best Nap
- First thing’s first: Take out your contact lenses! You should never sleep or nap in your contacts.
- Plan for it! Factor the nap into your day so you don’t forget about it.
- Make it happen before 3 P.M. Naps too late in the day could possibly interrupt your nighttime sleep pattern.
- Coffee before a nap? Some studies have shown that a “coffee nap” is pretty good combo; caffeine right before a 15-20 minute nap would kick in right as you wake up!
- Get the right nap environment. Find a cool, dark, quiet place to snooze.
- Keep it short (10-20 minutes). Extra zzzz’s are great, but just one “z” or two will do.
- Set an alarm. Wake up on time and on-point—though your hair might be a little messed up.
American Heart Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Journal of Sleep Research
National Sleep Foundation
Sleep Research Laboratory