Naps are not something that everyone has the luxury of taking, but if it’s possible to fit into your daily schedule, naps can be a healthy addition to your routine. First, it’s important to talk about what kind of naps we are referring to- the ideal nap is at least 10 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours. Naps longer than two hours can lead to feelings of drowsiness and grogginess after waking up. It does not matter where you take your nap, but should be somewhere where you can fully lay down and relax, if possible.
Why are naps so good for us? Naps are proven to improve brain performance. They reduce the feeling of fatigue, increase concentration, alertness, and energy and improve mood and memory forming abilities. By napping during the day, we are giving our bodies a chance to rest and allowing our brains to get caught up and take what we have learned and store it to our memory. We are better able to learn new things and critically think when we are well-rested, we can manage our emotions better, as well as respond to the emotions of others in a more thoughtful way.
Getting enough sleep is important to regulating our hormone levels, especially those that contribute to hunger (ghrelin) and satiety cues (leptin). While naps can be looked at by some people as a waste of time, taking naps can make us more efficient and productive in the time that we are awake and can lead to a healthier lifestyle all around.
By: Cassie Zehenny