At Sleep365, we care a lot about helping people get the best, healthiest sleep they can. That usually involves finding the right natural, luxury mattress for their sleep style to help them get a good night’s sleep every night. But, once in a while, people need a bit more than just a good night’s sleep.
We’re not talking about the occasional hangover nap on Saturday afternoon. We’re talking a regular midday routine with 10-20 minute naps.
A simple, natural event for infants and pets worldwide, napping is generally not something adults in America do. From workplace culture to simply having too much going on, it’s hard to find the time every day to devote to midday rest. But over the past few years, napping has gained popularity as researchers are studying the benefits of napping and finding positive results.
So if you can find the time, here are a few good excuses for setting a daily nap routine.
1. Improve attention to details.
Researchers have tested groups of nappers and found that napping can have a slight boost in alertness and ability to focus on details. It makes some sense: a well-rested mind is a sharper one.
2. Reduce stress.
From dealing with emotionally frustrating situations to alleviating the burden of regular stress, taking a break from the daily grind to rest and reset can have big benefits for your mind, body, and spirit. Studies show napping can reduce your negative responses to frustrating situations.
3. Lead the pack.
Midday naps may not be as embraced here as they are in Spain or China — but that doesn’t mean it won’t be someday. By embracing a daily nap routine and showing how beneficial it can be, you may help coworkers and friends to try it out, too. You could be on the ground floor of a groundswell — and people everywhere will thank you for leading the way.
4. Improve your memory.
While it won’t help you remember where you parked your car or solve that age-old problem of putting the cereal in the fridge and the milk in the pantry, napping can help improve associative memory. Associative memory is the type of memory you use to associate two linked things — a face and a name, a state and its capital city. So, at the very least, it may help you remember that cereal goes with milk, and not beer.
5. Boost your mood.
Of course, when you improve the way you handle stressful situations and emotional frustration, a better mood usually follows. Napping has been linked to improving your mood and outlook on life.
6. Escape everything.
No science needed to back up this claim: when you’re asleep, you generally aren’t working or parenting or cleaning or doing anything but sleeping. And that’s a pretty great excuse to do it.
Naps aren’t for everyone… but give it a try. A word of caution: if you’re having serious trouble sleeping, napping may not be the best solution. Sleep doctors will suggest napping may interfere with your nighttime sleep, so, it may not be the best choice for you. Consider visiting a sleep specialist if you’re really struggling with sleep.
The best way to find out if napping is right for you is, simply, try it out. Carve out a good time midday, when you can easily fit in in your schedule. If you’re at work (and can convince your boss it’s cool by sending them this article), maybe seek out a quiet room in the office, or hide in your car. Then, simply, try it out a few days in a row. You’ll quickly find whether it’s refreshing or just drags you down.
But be sure to keep it brief: Healthy naps should be limited to about 20 minutes, as longer naps may tend to make you groggy.
Nothing beats nighttime. At the end of the day, what you need most is a consistent, good night’s sleep. So if you want to take a nap, during the daytime hours, be sure to make nighttime sleep your priority. If napping helps, go for it! And congratulations. If it doesn’t, don’t force it.
Even if napping isn’t right for you, there are plenty of health benefits of taking a break during the middle of the day and resting. Just a few minutes each day can calm your body and mind, help you take on the rest of the day, and, with because you’re decreasing your stress, also set you up for better sleep at night.