Take a nap – It’s worth it
Researchers have found recently that a 15 to 20 minute nap after lunch has the following benefits on your health and well-being:
Research found that stress hormone levels were lower in those who took a brief nap.
Increased alertness and performance:
A 20 minute nap approximately 8 hours after you are awaken increases your stamina more than sleeping an extra 20 minutes in the morning.
Improved memory and learning:
The hypothesis is that sleep clears the brain’s short-term memory storage and makes room for new information.
Good for the heart:
A study of 23,681 healthy adults observed over six years demonstrated 37% lower risk of dying from heart attacks for those who napped 30 minutes at least 3 times a week.
To maximize the benefits, the conditions need to be right. Here’s a few tips on getting the perfect nap:
- Take your nap just after lunch, as human circadian rhythms make late afternoons a more likely time to fall into deep (slow-wave) sleep, which would leave you groggy.
- Avoid consuming large quantities of caffeine, as well as foods that are heavy in fat and sugar, which interfere with a person’s ability to fall asleep.
- Find a quite place, wear an eyeshade, use a blanket, then set your alarm clock for a 15 to 20 minute power nap.
Give it a try!