As a child, we were always encouraged by adults to take afternoon naps, and how we dreaded that boring hour of trying to pretend to be asleep while we wish we could have played outside instead. It turns out the adults were right!
There are three types of napping: planned napping, emergency napping and habitual napping. You can practice one (or a combination) that is right for your physical and mental conditions, as well as lifestyle. The health benefits of napping just for 20 minutes can be long lasting. The benefits include:
- Boosts productivity and increases alertness
- Improves memory and cognitive functions
- Improves heart health
- Prevents cell damage
- Boosts moods and relieves stress
The idea nap time is around 2-3 pm, after you’ve had lunch and you shouldn’t nap longer than 20-30 minutes. This length is ideal for boosting short-term alertness.
While some people still think napping is associated with laziness or that it is just for children, or old and sick people, napping has been proven to improve adult health. Though it is a healthy habit to get into, we must be cautious and stay in control of our napping activity so that it doesn’t affect our normal nightly sleep cycle.
Be aware that napping might increase the chance of heart failure in people with heart conditions, but other than that, have a wonderful nap!