In Praise of Daytime Naps
Can we get a round of applause for naps? Being able to take a few moments for yourself to recharge and turn off from everything else can be amazing. Not as an indulgence but naps have been found to be beneficial to our health.
Many of us have suffered from sleep issues especially in the past few years. The abrupt changes to daily patterns, anxiety, and other factors have caused some people to have insomnia, and the increased screen time with blue lights can lead to some of us having nighttime sleep issues. These nighttime sleep issues can lead to daytime grogginess and exhaustion.
But with the changes in work schedules and many being asked to still work from home, this new way of life has also led back to the appreciation of the nap.
Table of Contents
- In Praise of Naps
- Types of Naps
- What are the Benefits of Naps?
- How Can We Get The Most Out Of Naps?
Types of Naps
If you are like many, including me, you don't think too hard about the type of napping that you may be doing. You're just happy you were able to get in some extra sleep. But, there are different categories of naps based on how they are used.
Recovery Nap - This nap is exactly as it sounds. Did you have a hard night and weren't able to get enough quality sleep? The Recovery Nap allows your body to get some much-needed rest in order to function throughout the remainder of your day.
Fulfillment Nap - You will find this type of nap in children and infants. It is during this time of development that children and infants need extra sleep scheduled throughout their days.
Essential Nap - While sick or recovering your body needs extra time to rest. Naps of this kind allow the body to heal.
Appetitive Nap - This nap, while my favorite, is not necessary for recovery or development. This is a nap taken only for the enjoyment of napping.
What Are The Benefits of Naps?
Naps have been found to be beneficial for all age groups. Everyone from babies, to small children (remember nap mats at school?) and even working adults have shown health and sleep benefits from taking naps.
Naps also help with -
- Reducing sleepiness
- Improving learning
- Aiding memory formation
- Regulating emotions
How Can We Get The Most Out Of Naps?
When to take a nap - If you ask me, any time is a great time for a nap. But, researchers are finding that for most people the ideal time to take a short nap is from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM. Taking a nap later in the day can interfere with sleeping at night.
How long - Most research shows that naps should be about 10-30 minutes. (Although we have to admit that we have had our fair share of 2-hour-oh-my-goodness-what-time-is-it naps.) This timeframe has to do with your sleep cycles. If you end a nap in your deep sleep cycle you can actually feel MORE tired than if you had not taken a nap at all!
Set your alarm - As we said, it is best to limit how long your naps go. Not only for restoration but also so you do not sleep through your day! You don’t want to wake up and realize you missed an important meeting or a phone call from your boss.
Turn out the lights - While some people can nap anywhere (lucky) you probably find that you benefit most from napping in a dark room. If you cannot find a dark room to nap in, consider investing in a sleep mask. Having a place to sleep that is darker can help you fall asleep faster as well as make the sleep more effective.
It’s oh so quiet - In the same vein, you may want to seek out a place that is quiet. And if not quiet, at least not disturbing. Some find that they need silence to sleep and may need noise-canceling headphones or earplugs, while others like white noise or soothing music.
Whatever the reason for taking your nap, we hope that these tips will help you to have more restorative nap times.
Do you enjoy a nap during the day? What steps do you take to ensure a good mid-day sleep?
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