Feel Like Taking a Nap After Lunch? Do It, It’s Good For You!
You might have noticed that during mid day, you would always be a sleepy head. This happens mostly in between 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Is this right? If you are somewhere during the day and you felt very sleepy, go some place where you can take a nap.Taking a nap will help ease the feeling almost immediately and would also give you enough energy to make it through the day.
Why Do People Nap?
There are a lot of reasons why people want to nap:
- To catch up with the lost sleep from the evening
- The anticipation of feeling sleepy on a later time
- They enjoy sleeping or to kill time
Napping is relatively common. In fact, 50% of people around the world take a nap at least once a week.
This is greater in countries such as Greece, Brazil and Mexico. It is part of their culture (siesta) and considers napping as their “quiet time”. In those countries, up to 72% of the people will nap as often as four (4) times a week.
The Benefits Of Napping
“Naps are not only beneficial because they make us feel less sleepy and more alert, but because they improve our cognitive functioning, reaction times, short-term memory and even our mood.”
From an unpublished research, it has been found that those who regularly nap feels more alert after a brief nap compared to those who occasionally nap. Another study found an increase in motor learning, which is the brain’s pathway change when learning new skills, following a brief nap for people who took naps regularly. This increase was much lower in those who only took naps on occasion.
The benefits of nap is also similar to caffeine intake or other stimulant medications. However, it eliminates the side effects of caffeine or stimulants and a probable disrupted sleep at night.
How long should I nap?
The time you need for napping depends on your spare time. How do you want your naps to work for you? What plans do you have for the night?
Generally speaking, the longer a nap is, the longer you will feel rejuvenated after waking.
One to two hours on an early afternoon will make you less sleepy until the night. This will take you longer before feeling sleepy again. If you have big plans for the night and you need to stay up for a little while then time your sleep for about 1.5 hours. This is a length of a normal sleep cycle. You will be deeply asleep for about an hour and a 30-minute light sleep. Then waking up from a light sleep will be refreshing and makes you feel alert.
However, if you are disturbed or woken up during a deep sleep, chances are you will feel sluggish or drowsy.
If you do experience feeling drowsy after a nap, don’t worry — this feeling is temporary and will go away after a while.
Another option is “power nap”, it will only be 10-15 minutes and will help you rejuvenate. You will feel refresh and feel better almost immediately after a power nap. It will lasts for a few hours. It is great since you won’t feel sluggish or drowsy, simply because you won’t experience deep sleep during a power nap.
Researchers suggests that mid-day naps are better than naps during any other time of the day. However, if you feel sleepy and feels like you need a nap at anytime of the day, find time to do it to make you feel better and refreshed.