Can Taking a Nap Be Good For Your Health?
True or false: one-third of adult Americans take a nap on any given day?
You may be surprised to find it’s true! According to the Pew Research report “Nap Time,” this phenomenon is not reserved exclusively for toddlers. It also doesn’t mean that those adult snoozers are lazy or by default sick or elderly.
The National Sleep Foundation explains it this way:
“As a nation, the United States appears to be becoming more and more sleep deprived. And it may be our busy lifestyle that keeps us from napping. While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness, and performance.”
Famous nappers have included Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, Leonardo da Vinci, and Thomas Edison.
Others say a nap can help bridge the gap for you if you aren’t able to get a full eight hours of sleep on a regular basis. In addition, it can rejuvenate you for a creative challenge. A mere 20-minute catnap can be all you need to ward off drowsiness and keep you alert throughout the day.
Here’s how you’ll feel after taking a…
- 20-minute power nap – on your “game” with more coordination. A “stage 2” nap (a short slumber of 20 minutes or less which terminates before the occurrence of deep slow-wave sleep) helps provide stamina and motor skills processing.
- 30-60-minute slow-wave nap – better able to make decisions, memorize information, and recall directions.
- 60-90 minute REM nap – equipped to solve creative problems. Rapid eye movement or REM sleep plays a role in making new connections in the brain and improves perceptual processing.
When waking from a nap that lasts anywhere from 10-20 minutes, you may be afflicted with something called “sleep inertia,” which is a sense of grogginess that can take up to ½ hour to lift. This is something to note if you’ll need to be alert immediately upon waking. In addition, you’ll want to avoid grabbing a nap too close to bedtime or you risk missing the sandman altogether that night.
Armed with this news, coffee may become a thing of the past. Therefore, the next time you feel droopy during the day, catch some zzz’s instead of going for java! It’ll revive you sans edgy side effects.
Resources & Nap Accessories:
Take a Nap! Change Your Life by Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D. and Mark Ehrman
Napping 101 by Casper:
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.