The Health Benefits of Napping
We all love a good nap during the day, but did you know that even 30 minutes of napping can help repair the damage caused by missing hours of sleep? In this blog we look at the health benefits of napping, and how you can fit it into your day!
We’ve often mentioned napping as a great way to help you get more sleep, but we know that sometimes it’s not always easy to get even a few minutes sleep into a busy daily schedule.
When we think of napping, the first thought that may come to mind is the image of Homer Simpson asleep in a hammock in the back garden, snoring contentedly with a beer in hand. But in actual fact, having regular naps is a vital part of keeping your mind and body fit and healthy.
Why should we be taking regular naps?
Our ancestors regularly took naps as part of their daily routine, to help them increase their alertness and learning ability. The same could be said to apply to us today. Naps help increase brain power, making it easier to retain information and improve problem solving. Naps can help improve your performance at work, and the health benefits are obvious. Naps decrease stress, and lower the risk of strokes, heart disease and weight gain.
So how can I take regular naps?
We know how good napping is for you physically, so how can you ensure that you’re getting regular naps? We know it’s not easy in the modern world. There’s always something to do, and distractions, that make it difficult to relax and catch some zee’s. With that in mind, here are 5 tips on how to nap effectively.
Keep It Short
Ideally 20 minutes. Most experts say that a nap of this length will give you all the health benefits you’d expect, and is still short enough to fit into a busy schedule. If you do intend on napping for longer, try not to make it any longer than an hour and a half, otherwise you’ll find yourself getting into deep sleep and you could wake up feeling more tired than when you went to sleep.
Turn Off The Lights
Try and find a quiet and dark place to get your head down. Naturally, this can be quite hard to do depending on where you are, so consider using an eye mask and earplugs to help you shut out the noise.
Get Into Bed
It’s not vital that you lie down when you take a nap, but it can help you get to sleep quicker. Lie down on a comfortable couch, or better yet climb into a comfy bed and relax.
We all have a million and one other things we need to be doing, and it can be really difficult to relax and fall asleep in the middle of the day, especially if you’re busy with other things. That’s where meditation can help. Put on some relaxing music, and concentrate on breathing deeply to calm yourself down. Even if you don’t fall totally asleep, then you’ll find that 20 minutes of meditation helps to keep you focussed.
Have a cup of Coffee
What?? We know, we know, usually we wouldn’t recommend having a drink of coffee if you’re trying to get to sleep but studies have shown that a “Caffeine Nap” can be an effective nap technique. Just before you take your nap, have a drink of coffee. As you’re asleep, the coffee will gradually filter through your system. After you’ve napped for 20 minutes, your body will start to feel the effects of the caffeine and you’ll wake up feeling like a new man or woman! Remember though, drinking coffee before bed IS NOT a good idea!!
Napping is a great idea if you want to improve your general health and fitness. And if you’re planning to indulge in some napping during the day, then you’ll want to make sure that you get a comfortable bed to do it in!