Getting enough sleep can be difficult. The average adult needs between 7 to 9 hours of sleep in order to be healthy and productive. If you aren’t able to get enough sleep at night, taking a nap can greatly benefit you.
Short-term benefits of napping:
Some of the benefits to napping include:
- Improves performance
- Improves alertness
- Reduces stress
- Improves mood
- Decreases fatigue
- Improves accuracy
- Improves reasoning
- Improves memory
- Improves learning
Studies are still out on what time during the day is best for taking a nap. However, how long you nap does matter. Some experts say that a 10 to 20 minute nap is best. This is a helpful chart:
Another study supported the technique of drinking a cup of coffee before taking a 15 – 20 minute nap. This allows for the caffeine to kick in while you sleep, so when you wake up you feel extra energized and ready to go.
Long-term costs of napping?
Some studies have associated habitual napping with an increased risk of mortality, especially from respiratory diseases, after controlling for a number of potential confounders including current health problems. However, it’s unclear whether napping was just an early marker for a future health problem or whether longer naps are the problem. Another study found that Greeks who took 30 minutes naps at least 3x a week had a 37% reduced risk of heart disease though. So, the jury is still out.
Taking a nap can be as simple as just putting your head down on your desk for 10-20 minutes. If you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, it’s clearly the way to go. Napping regularly could cause health problems, although more research needs to be done. If you do nap regularly, try and keep them to 30 minutes or less.