I was never big on taking naps, but since having my daughter that has changed.
DID YOU KNOW?
Naps And The Heart
Regular naps have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Those who have a siesta at least three times a week were shown in research to be more than a third less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.
Naps And Stress
We’ve all been there, after a few late nights it can be difficult to deal with the stresses and strains of work and school life. Little problems suddenly seem insurmountable and it’s not just our minds that struggle when we’re sleep deprived, our bodies suffer too.
The good news is that research shows that naps can mitigate the effects of too little sleep, decrease the release of these stress chemicals and help protect our bodies from the negative effects of stress.
So if napping is so good, why are many of us so embarrassed or ashamed of it? I mean let’s face it, whether it’s called a siesta, bhat gum or rice sleep, an afternoon snooze is ingrained into many cultures. But in the US, the UK and many other western societies, sleeping in the daytime can be seen as laziness, a sign of getting old or lacking drive. Maybe it’s time to change the way think and the way we work?!
How To Have The Perfect Power Nap
Keep it consistent. Try to nap at the same time every day. This helps your body adjust its normal circadian rhythms and ensures you get maximum benefit.
Sleep or stimulants? Do you slug back a strong cup of coffee to beat that post-lunch slump? If you do, you may not be taking the best approach. A study compared the effectiveness of caffeine, day time naps and getting more night-time sleep as ways of overcoming the afternoon dip and the nap won hands down.
Afternoon delight. Most of us start to flag between one and four pm. Stop the slump by scheduling a short snooze after lunch.
Short is sweet. Do you wake up from a nap groggy, confused ? If you do, you may be sleeping for too long. Avoid this “sleep inertia” by setting an alarm and aiming for no more than twenty to thirty minutes max.
Turn off the lights. Our bodies are programmed to respond to darkness and light. Flicking the switch or using an eye-mask will help you doze off and plenty of bright light will re-energize you when you’re awake.
Cover up. When we sleep our metabolism slows down and our body temperature drops, a light blanket or fleece will help you stay comfortable.
Napping could improve your work performance, your health and your well being. So what are you waiting for? Remember, It’s not laziness, it’s a way of rebooting your system so that it is better able to cope with challenges.
Be well 🙂