I don’t know about you, but when it hits three in the afternoon, I just can’t stop yawning. There’s nothing that seems more enticing than getting under the covers and shutting my eyes for a little while.
But at the same time, taking a nap might backfire when you’re trying to fall asleep at bedtime. Plus, there’s that feeling of guilt that occurs because you could be doing something much more productive than lying in bed during the middle of the day.
So is napping good or bad? We’re going to be diving into the reasons why you should be taking naps. While napping is usually associated with babies and children, adults can benefit from a snooze, too.
For many people, a nap helps them feel more refreshed and gives them a boost of energy to be able to better tackle the rest of the day’s events. Naps actually have a lot of positive benefits.
Afternoon naps can enhance your cognitive performance and alertness, even if it’s short. Researchers report that a twenty to thirty-minute nap produces the best results. Any longer, and you might be left feeling groggy.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, scientists found that people who napped for around thirty minutes had sharper memory than those who napped longer and those who didn’t nap at all.
Napping doesn’t just help with memory consolidation. Your learning ability can be impacted as well. While you’re napping, slow wave activity occurs in your brain. Those brain waves refresh and relax your mind as you’re slumbering. After waking up, you’re able to focus on tasks better.
Naps also assist with emotional regulation. When you’re tired, you probably act moody, grumpy, and irritable. A nap can fix that!
If you’re having a rough day, getting some shut-eye can allow you to feel more in control of your emotions and lift your mood. A study showed that participants who napped for twenty minutes felt happier overall.