Though we promote natural, healthy, and energizing sleep we know that it isn’t always the easiest thing to achieve. Some days we just can’t function without a midday power nap. These are just a few health benefits and tips to taking a needed snooze every once in awhile.
Without regular and healthy sleep your stress hormones will continue to raise, but on the flip side your stress hormones go down with the more regular and valuable sleep you get. With short, possible consistent naps you can lower tension and increase your overall health. If you do begin to nap regularly, stick to a schedule. The best nap times are between 1:00pm and 3:00pm when your blood sugar and energy dips after lunch.
Gain Energy and Productivity
Stated in a healthy sleep article by Harvard Med, “...Both body temperature and caloric demand decrease during sleep, as compared to wakefulness. Such evidence supports the proposition that one of the primary functions of sleep is to help organisms conserve their energy resources.” Part of getting the most energy out of your naps is knowing the best way to nap. A 20-minute nap, or a stage two nap is best to improve motor skills and attention. A 60 minute to 90 minute nap will bring Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. During REM your brain will make new connections and help with creative problem solving.
Improve Your Mood
Ever wake up grumpy and dreading the day ahead after a sleepless night? Well, taking a nap could actually ease that irritability and frustration. Just catching a few more zzz’s is better than taking an energy drink or cup coffee to boost your mood and productivity. In a 2014 Gallup-Healthways' survey of well-being, from 7,000 U.S. adults who reported those who got more sleep also had a higher overall well-being than individuals who got less sleep. According to Harvard Med there is a correlation of sleep and happiness, “University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood.”