Human beings are part of the 15% of mammalian species who are “monophasic sleepers”, meaning that our days are divided into two very distinct periods: sleep and wakefulness. But as the general population becomes increasingly stressed and sleep deprived, the temptation to take a nap in the middle of the day is also on the rise.
But should you indulge in a nap? Won’t napping have a negative impact on your ability to “hit the hay” later in the day? The answer to this question is, it depends.
There are a number of different factors which are known to play a role in how beneficial a nap will be as well as how long you should nap. Some of the basics include:
- Experience in napping
For example, young children, sick individuals, and seniors often need to nap more frequently and for longer periods of time than a healthy adult. For the purpose of this article we will be highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of napping and nap duration for generally healthy adults.
Different Types Of Naps
The nap you take may fall under any one of the following three categories:
- A Planned Nap or Preparatory Napping. This type of nap is planned in advance, such as if you anticipate you will be awake later into the night than you usually would be.
- A Habitual Nap. This happens when a person takes a nap at the same time each and every day.
- An Emergency Nap. This type of nap occurs when you are suddenly very drowsy and cannot continue performing the activity you were engaged in (for example, driving a car and pulling over to the side of the road for five minutes of rest).
The Benefits Of Napping
As long as you “nap right”, you can enjoy a host of post-nap benefits. Some of the most common are relaxation, reduced fatigue and an improved mood, but there are other benefits as well.
Naps Make You More Productive
Napping can restore your mental alertness, enhance your performance, and reduce the occurrence of mistakes and accidents. A NASA study which focused on astronauts and sleepy military pilots found that a 40 minute nap was able to improve their performance by as much as 34% and alertness by 100%.
Naps Relieve Mental Stress
A good, solid nap can also help you avoid “burnout” and reduce mental stress. One study from Massachusetts found that napping can actually help the brain recover from being overloaded with information.
Napping can also improve our ability to remember information because it pushes recently learned information from the hippocampus, where it is easily forgotten, to the neocortex, which is a more permanent storage space. This, too, goes a long way in alleviating mental burnout.
Naps Are Good For Your Heart
Researchers studied nearly 24,000 Grecian men over a six year period. The participants who napped for 30 minutes three times a week had a 37% reduced risk of dying from heart disease.
How To Nap Correctly
An unnecessary or unplanned nap could result in negative side effects such as:
- Nighttime sleep problems. Napping during the day can result in insomnia or reduced sleep quality at night.
- Sleep inertia. It is common for nappers to feel groggy or disoriented upon waking after a nap.
Fortunately there are some things you can do to ensure that you can get the most out of your nap.
1. Set A Timer
The best naps are typically between 10 to 30 minutes in duration. A result of a recent study in the research journal “Sleep” found that a 10 minute nap produced the most benefits when it came to reduced fatigue and improved cognitive performance. A nap which is over 30 minutes in duration will likely be accompanied by sleep inertia.
2. Nap In The Afternoon
The best time for a nap is between 2:00 and 3:00 pm for most of us, as this is closer to the middle of our day. This is when most adults experience that “post lunch lull” which has a negative effect on their level of alertness.
Taking a nap during this time also means that your nap will be less likely to interfere with your sleep at night. Depending on your shift schedule and other individual factors, however, napping at different times may be more beneficial. Plan to nap in the middle of your regular wake period.
3. Create The Right Environment
When you want or need a restorative nap, you need to take it seriously. This means getting rid of any distractions in the room, reducing the room temperature, and closing the blinds or drapes so it is dark and comfortable.
It also means creating a quiet and restful environment, something which snoring can interfere with on a regular basis.
Snoring Creates – And Interrupts – Naps
One of the leading reasons why adults feel the urge to nap is because their sleep from the night before was interrupted, often by the raucous rumblings of their snores or the snoring of their partner. Unfortunately many of those who snore at night also interrupt their much needed nap time because they begin to snore and wake themselves before they can enjoy a restful nap.
How The Good Morning Snore Solution® Can Help
Snoring affects tens of millions of Americans on a regular basis, but the Good Morning Snore Solution® may be the answer to your snoring woes.
The Good Morning Snore Solution® is a mouthpiece which harnesses the force of gentle suction to hold your tongue forward in order to keep your airway free and clear while you rest. Comfortable and easy to use, this unique anti-snore mouthpiece has been clinically proven to treat both snoring and sleep apnea.
Discover the many ways the Good Morning Snore Solution® can improve the quality of your sleep while also boosting your daytime wakefulness today by visiting www.goodmorningsnoresolution.com.