Are Naps Healthy?
From babies, to toddlers, to their sleepless parents, who doesn’t love a good nap?
When I was younger, I used to turn my nose up at naps. “That’s for babies!” I’d tell my mother. Indeed I thought I was well past my napping stage. Until I got to college.
My rediscovery of the nap was a dream come true. Sleeping in the middle of the day meant late nights studying were way easier. Who needed a bed time!
Even now, out of college, I find myself craving the naps I once took for granted. I’d give anything to pass out on my bed in the middle of the day. But that got me thinking.
Is it healthy to take naps?
Like anything else, the answer is a bit complicated.
Napping provides countless benefits to the body including:
- Reduced stress and fatigue
- Improved mood
- Quicker reaction time
- Better memory
It’s crazy to think that all those benefits can come from one little nap, but it’s true. Sleeping allows your body and mind a break and a chance to rejuvenate and repair itself.
If you’ve ever taken a nap and woke up with energy and clarity, that’s your body’s repair system at work. A quick nap can make all the difference.
What’s the downside of a nap?
The problem can arise either based on the length of the nap or because of a sleep disorder.
Sleep Inertia can occur if you’ve taken an extra long nap (past the recommended time frame). You may wake up feeling groggy, disoriented, and confused. This wears off with time, but it doesn’t feel good.
Taking long naps or naps too close to bedtime can interfere with nighttime sleep. This can be especially true if you have a sleeping disorder like insomnia.
What’s the best way to take a nap?
There’s a few factors to keep in mind when taking a nap.
Length: You should aim for a nap that lasts a minimum of 10 minutes and a max of 20 minutes. This will ensure your brain some rest, but not enough to fall into deep sleep, making waking harder.
Environment: Pick a quiet, dim or dark room with comfortable furniture. Put the temperature to your comfort level.
Timing: If you’re going to take a nap, it’s best to do so in the early afternoon, giving yourself enough time to get tired again before bed.
In mine (and science’s) humble opinion, as long as you follow the above guidelines, you’ll get the most out of your nap. And hey, while you’re at it, try out our Luxury Bamboo Pillow for a customized sleeping experience you’ll be shocked you ever lived without.
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