There's a Nap For That
Who hasn’t sat at their desk and wished for a nap at least once? In today’s world most people run a fast paced life with more things to do than there is time for. It’s exhausting and can lead to a lot of fatigue during working hours. Fortunately, there’s something you can do. Take a nap.
According to the CDC both short and long naps can increase alertness. A short nap is usually 15-30 minutes, whereas a long nap is an hour to 1.5 hours. This period of actual sleep benefits our brains and our bodies, more so than just a quiet rest period.
Research has shown that people who frequently take naps tend to perform better at work, school, and athletics and make them more productive. While not feeling sleepy is its own perk, people who nap and feel well-rested tend to experience less stress and reduced tension, which can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Well-rested, nap-taking people also tend to have healthier immune systems, which means fewer sick days. A nap can also directly improve your mood and help you regulate emotions, helping you stay calm during stressful situations without getting as flustered. Do you tend to forget names or faces, or sometimes you can’t remember a specific word? Napping could help with that. According to Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic naps can improve memory and recall.
A short nap, 15-20 minutes, during the day is recommended. This allows your body to rest and recharge without the groggy feeling upon awakening. Longer naps allow your body to enter a deep sleep stage and can be harder to wake from, leaving you feeling groggy, so should be taken towards the end of the day or on days when you have more time.
So, if you find yourself regularly overcome with fatigue or experiencing high levels of stress in your life, consider adding naps to your daily schedule, perhaps as part of your lunch break!