By Eric Stengle, Founder of Family Sleep Diagnostics
If you are someone who enjoys quality sleep daily, then you are one among a rare breed of extremely blessed individuals. For many people, clocking enough hours of sleep every single day is a challenge.
Long commutes, stresses of a modern lifestyle, work pressures, and in a lot of cases, health challenges can impact your quality of sleep.
Poor sleep over a period of time can lead to sleep deprivation. And sleep deprivation can affect your mood, your productivity, your health, ability to focus, and leave you feeling fatigued through the day. A good nap, if timed correctly, can help reduce your sleep debt.
Why is Napping Frowned Upon?
One of the ills of modern-day living is that you are expected to be productive round the clock. As a result, most people consider it normal to work long hours that can often extend into their weekends as well. So, an afternoon nap is generally frowned up.
However, despite all the negative talk about how napping is a sign of laziness, if done the right way, napping can help you in more ways than one. A short 10-20-minute nap can make you feel energized and alert.
Some people, however, might enjoy or need longer naps extending between 30-90 minutes. Regardless of the stigma – sleeping is a big part of being healthy and productive. So, if a midday snooze can help you stay productive, then go for it!
Top 6 Benefits of Napping
Napping as a part of your overall sleep routine can benefit you in several ways. Consider the following:
Increases Your Energy and Alertness
A short, midday nap can improve your alertness and help you stay productive through the day. Even a short 20-30-minute nap can rest the mind sufficiently and increase alertness and your energy level.
Enhance Your Ability to Focus
A well-timed nap can improve your accuracy, ability to focus, and effectively boost short-term memory.
If you are feeling low, consider taking a short nap. Even if you can manage to rest for 30-60 minutes without falling into deep sleep, it can effectively boost your mood. Just the motion of resting your body for that short period, can help rest your brain and help regulate your emotions.
Boost Your Creativity
If you can manage a few minutes of short nap, then it can enhance activity in the brain’s right hemisphere. The right hemisphere is the part of the brain that is responsible for creativity and insight.
Another benefit of napping is that it helps to improve communication between the right and left hemispheres (analytical part of the brain) – thus creating perfect harmony between creativity and analytical thinking.
Stress is a modern-day illness that is achieving epidemic proportions not just in the US, but across the globe. Stress can weaken the immune system and over time lead to other health risks such as hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
However, a short nap during the day can help improve the body’s ability to deal with everyday stress. This is especially critical if you suffer from a sleep disorder or are generally sleep deprived.
Restorative Benefit of Sleep
Quality sleep is a critical factor for outstanding health and staying in remarkable physical condition. If you are sleep deprived, it can show on your face and impact your physical performance.
If you can time your naps to give you the restorative benefits of sleep without interfering with your body’s natural nighttime sleep cycle, it can keep you healthy and in peak physical condition.
Negative Impact of Napping
While a nicely timed nap can improve your motor performance, accuracy, and improve productivity and mood, if your naps are timed poorly, it can have a negative impact. Consider the following:
- A poorly timed nap can lead to excessive daytime sleeping if it impacts your night sleep cycle.
- If your night sleep cycle and natural circadian rhythms are affected, then it can trigger sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or sleep deprivation.
- Any of the above mentioned three factors can in turn impact your emotional regulation, your mental focus and alertness, and your daytime productivity.
If you are not sure about what’s causing you to sleep poorly, consult with a professional sleep coach or speak to your health provider.
Family Sleep Diagnostics – Saving Lives and Marriages
Do you suffer from poor quality sleep? Or are you suffering from a suspected sleep disorder? If yes, we can help. You can reach us at Family Sleep Diagnostics or give us a call at (972) 714-0011.