It turns out that naps have many more cognitive and physical advantages than we previously imagined.
Although experts cannot guarantee that it is a mistake, it is a reality that at least a third of us report to lack sleep, in contrast to 85% of all mammalian species. People sleep only once everyday.
Power naps can help us catch up on lost sleep, but they can also sharpen our minds and enhance our capacity for problem-solving, logic, verbal memory, response time, perceptual learning, object learning, statistical learning, symbol identification, and verbal memory. Stress, blood pressure, heart health, mood, and body weight are all improved by naps.
But if you keep reading, you’ll undoubtedly nap more frequently! Associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside and research co-author Sara Mednick says:
If they had a particular nap quality, naps were just as beneficial as full nights of sleep.
All nations where it is common practice to nap after lunch have extremely low rates of fatal heart attacks, which is consistent with the link between napping and enhanced heart health. In addition, research has shown that taking a sleep lowers stress levels, improves alertness, cognitive function, memory, and relaxes the body and mind.
Pilots who napped for 40 minutes during the day “demonstrated vigilance performance increases from 16% in median reaction time to 34% in lapses compared to the No-Rest Group,” according to a 1995 NASA research.
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Additionally, a 2008 study found that naps are considerably better for acquiring perceptual skills, verbal memory, and motor skills than a mid-afternoon cup of coffee.
Even a 20-minute power nap is good, and these restorative naps significantly increase your energy levels.
According to Professor Leon Lack from Flinders University:
The best amount of sleep for enhancing cognitive function, performance, reaction times, and subjective feelings of alertness appears to be ten to fifteen minutes. And that boost in productivity and alertness seems to last for up to two, and occasionally three, hours following the snooze.
However, the following are the outcomes of naps for various lengths:
20 Minute Nap – These short naps improve memory, mental alertness, and motor learning skills.
20 To 30 Minute Nap – It boosts memory and creativity.
30 To 60 Minute Nap – It enhances the decision-making skills and improves the part of your memory responsible for memorizing things like the alphabet; directions and etc.
60 To 90 Minute Nap – It is the most beneficial nap, which ensures a REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, in which the brain resets itself. Prof.Mednick says: “The 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity and emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia.”
But you should always learn to pay attention to your body’s cues. It would be better to avoid developing a habit out of it if you have trouble falling asleep at night just because you napped that day. Additionally, if you are one of those people who feel sleepy in the morning after a nap, you should avoid taking naps as well.
In lieu of a summary, let’s recall Pete Hamill’s words:
“The replenishing thing that comes with a nap — you end up with two mornings in a day.”