Would you like better focus and performance for your daily tasks? Take a nap!
We tend to think of naps as being for babies and the elderly, but napping is a very important aspect of many cultures. A brief 20 minute nap can do wonders for our health and well being.
More than 50 years ago the sleep researcher, Nathaniel Kleitman proposed the existence of a basic rest/activity cycle that occurs both during sleep and throughout the day. Recognized as the father of modern sleep research, Kleitman described a human biological cycle of approximately 90 minutes where we experience varying levels of energy. A brief nap when our energy drops, as we are headed toward a rest cycle (For most people this usually occurs in the mid-afternoon) can be just what is needed to help us maintain productivity for the remainder of our day.
The National Sleep Foundation states, “As a nation, the United States appears to be becoming more and more sleep deprived. And it may be our busy lifestyle that keeps us from napping. While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.”
With self-awareness about the way our energy ebbs and flows throughout the day, it may be easier to give yourself permission recharge and reset for the next period of activity with a nap.
Here are 5 More Good Reasons to Recharge with a Nap:
1. Increase Energy: A short nap allows your body and mind to reset so you can deal with the rest of the day. Aim for about 20 minutes of rest and no more than 40, and avoid napping right after a meal.
2. Decrease Stress: Naps relieve stress and can help headaches. Try a dark, cool, comfortable room and set a soft alarm to wake you so you can relax completely without any worry about oversleeping.
3. Improve Performance: Studies show that physical reflexes, mental judgement and accuracy all improve after rebalancing with a nap. Plan ahead and try to schedule your nap for the same time each day. Athletes, students, and even parents perform better with extra energy.
4. Increase Creativity: Sharper thinking following a nap helps creativity and boosts both the ability to come up with new ideas and for learning new things. Some of the best art, designs or business models can come from a well rested brain!
5. Change Your Energy and Your Mood: With a fresh start on the rest of the day, a nap boosts your energy, and improves your mood as well!
With so many benefits to enjoy, add an afternoon nap to your daily routine for balance and good health.