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How to Nap in a Way That’s Good for You

March 01, 2019

How to nap in a way that’s good for you

There are very few people who don’t enjoy a nice, lingering nap. Over winter weekends when the skies are grey and rain patters against the window, or on summer holiday after you come back from a long day at the beach with the salt and sand still clinging to your skin, a nice nap can be something quite magical. It’s not something a lot of people have time for in the course of day-to-day life, but according to recent findings, it might actually improve your productivity if you did.

Here’s a quick look at napping and how you can incorporate it into your daily schedule in a healthy way:

What Is A Nap?

A nap is classified as a period of sleep of less than one hour that is taken throughout the day, separate from your main period of sleep during the night. Young children and older adults are more prone to napping, but working adults have now also started to take up the habit of power naps during the day. In countries like Spain and Mexico afternoon siestas are also commonplace since temperatures peaks at noon and workers are more productive if they take a nap at this time and extend their working hours later into the afternoon.

Why Do We Feel The Need to Nap?

There are various reason why your body might signal that it’s time for a nap. You could be bored, or you may not have gotten sufficient rest the previous evening. However, our physiology also plays a role. Our circadian rhythm or sleep/wake cycle takes a natural dip in the afternoon, with our temperature dipping a little to pave the way for a nap. In early risers (06:00) this dip normally occurs at 13:30; in later risers (09:00) around 15:00. If you do plan on napping, this is a good time to do so since your body is already primed for rest.

What Are The Benefits of Napping?

When enjoyed at the correct time and for the optimal duration, a daytime nap could:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 37%.
  • Improve your mental performance and productivity at work.
  • Bolster your memory retention.

The most effective daytime naps are enjoyed in a cool, dark space with a supportive mattress and pillow. If you plan to take your nap at work, try to find a place where you can lie down horizontally, and invest in a pair of earplugs and an eye mask.

There you have it - a concise look at the benefits of napping and how you can incorporate it into your daily schedule in a way that will benefit your health and improve your productivity on the whole. Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months as we share more helpful advice on enjoying restorative rest that benefits your health and daytime productivity.

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