Posted on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 at 6:42 pm
We’ve been conditioned to think that after a certain age, it’s no longer cool or necessary to take a nap. In reality, there are several reasons why it is perfectly fine, even healthy, to take a little cat nap in the afternoon. Consider these napping benefits:
Sharpen Your Mind
Studies have found that napping can sharpen the brain by helping it interpret information better. It may also help the brain function more efficiently. Napping can reduce the level of a chemical in the brain called adenosine. This neurotransmitter helps play a role in cognition.
Napping may also help people who are learning new information better retain that information. Studies suggest that naps can help with memory consolidation. Memory consolidation is a process wherein the brain turns information into long-term memories.
A short nap may help boost the body’s immune system. Napping may help reduce stress and the levels of inflammatory cytokines and norepinephrine in the body. Studies suggest that reducing these chemicals with a nap may help restore balance to the immune system.
Help Prevent Heart Disease
A more robust immune system isn’t the only benefit of a stress-busting nap. Research shows that napping may also help decrease a person’s risk of developing heart disease.
Studies also indicate that napping may help boost productivity and work performance. Napping may give some workers an edge during the work-day and could lead to performance advantages.
Other benefits associated with napping include:
- Reduced sleepiness
- Regulating emotions
- Improving creativity
- Increasing alertness
While there are benefits to taking a nap, how do you incorporate one into your daily routine? For a successful nap, consider these tips:
- Don’t sleep too late into the day
- Set an alarm
- Create a comfortable environment
- Consider a sleep mask or noise-canceling headphones
- Practice relaxation techniques
To gain the health benefits a nap has to offer, it is also crucial to consider the length of the nap itself. A nap that is too short may not give a person healthy benefits. Napping for too long may throw off a person’s evening sleep routine and leave them feeling groggy. The ideal nap length is generally between 10 and 20 minutes. These so-called “power naps” offer people recovery benefits without leaving them feeling tired.
Why Am I So Tired?
Napping can have a very positive impact on a person’s physical and mental health. However, it is also vital to consider why a person may need a nap in the first place. If you feel exhausted and constantly run-down, there may be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed that a mid-day nap can’t fix.
Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms, and do any of them make it difficult for you to sleep?
- Partner complaining that you snore
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
- Waking up at night gasping for air
These symptoms may indicate a deeper problem like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that can significantly impact a person’s overall health and wellbeing. Although there are different types of sleep apnea, the condition generally causes an interruption to a person’s breathing while they are asleep. Incorporating a nap into an individual’s daily routine will help, but ultimately the underlying problem needs to be solved.
If you feel like you can’t function without an afternoon nap or have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep at night, you may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder. The staff at Silent Night Therapy understand the detrimental effects of not getting enough sleep. Our experienced team can help you get to the root of your problem and offer you a variety of treatment options. Get started living your best life and contact us today or call our office at 631-983-2463 for a complimentary sleep consultation.