5 Incredible Ways Daily Naps Can Improve Your Overall Health And Well-Being

How To Take A Nap ( 5 Benefits and Tips For Taking Better Nap)

The older you get, the more you appreciate your childhood days. Carefree times where the biggest failure was oversleeping and missing Saturday morning cartoons. Ah! Those were the days, huh? But you know what I miss the most about my childhood days? Those mandatory afternoon naps that the preschool enforced upon us. Sure we hated it then but right now we’d do anything to get some shut eye.

Entering adulthood, the notion of going to sleep during the day sounds foreign, looked down even. How can you waste those precious sixty minutes shut eye? Well, that just makes me miss them more.

Onto the brighter side of things: You really shouldn’t frown upon taking naps. Why? Because power naps are good for you. That’s right, folks, midday siestas do you more good than harm. And the source? SCIENCE! I mean even without the backing of science it’s pretty much common sense to think that when you’re feeling the laziest and unproductive during the day, sneaking in a few moments of shut-eye sounds a wonderful idea. Well, it is. So, by all means, if your schedule allows it take that nap. Stretch yourself across the couch. You’ll feel way better and become more productive once you wake up.

Read on below to find out how napping can be beneficial for your physical, mental and emotional well-being. And please let us know in the comments below how you found our list to be.

Benefits of Power Nap:

1. Sharpens Cognitive Functions:

beneifits of power nap
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

We’ve all pulled all-nighters before. It’s a student’s rite of passage. But have you ever noticed that come exam time, your performance dips down a bit? You’re unable to recall information you swear you had studied and memorized earlier? That, my friends, is good old sleep deprivation working its magic.

Sleep affects learning and information retaining ability. So, no wonder the lack of it causes small mental lapses in memory. Fear not, naps are here to save the day. According to studies, a good 60-90 minute can boost mental performance for up to 24 hours afterward. So try and sneak in a quick power nap at the end of your all-nighter to be on your game.

2. Improves Heart Health
Improves Heart Health
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

You’d think that taking naps in the afternoon would make you lazy and unhealthy. But thanks to Harvard scientists we now know that this isn’t the case. In fact, their studies revealed quite contrary findings. People who nap regularly are less likely to have heart issues later in life.

Now, we’re not talking about napping all the time. A regular nap is a nap at least three times a week for a minimum of thirty minutes. This compensates for the effect lack of sleep has on your heart. Thereby reducing your chances of a heart illness. So, if you thought your afternoon nap was doing you bad, don’t worry it’s not. You can rest easy.

3. Reduces Stress And Anxiety

Reduces Stress And Anxiety
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

A study has revealed that three stress hormones spike when people are sleep deprived. Being tired causes stress and stress, in turn, causes further tiredness. It’s a vicious cycle that only napping can reverse. Further helping in improving heart health, sleep reduces stress and anxiety. I mean, I’m sure all of you have experienced a significant change in mood and upliftment in general after waking up from a much deserved afternoon nap. That’s just the healing power of naps on emotional and physical well-being at play. Men ought to take more note of this since they are more likely to have stress-related health issues than women.

4. Fights Food Cravings

Fights Food Cravings
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Your urge to snack heavily between meals may be attributed to the lack of sleep you experience. It’s reasonable to want to eat something when you feel tired. But the thing is, a sleep deprived body craves junk food more than healthy food. Now, that can be a problem. Napping can be a great alternative to snacking. It boosts energy and stops your thought process from craving unhealthy food. Just a 10-15 minute nap can get rid of those pesky cravings.

5. Improves Physical Performance

Improves Physical Performance
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

If you’ve ever played a sport during high school or college, then you obviously have had your coach yell at you the importance of a good night’s sleep before a big game. He probably told you not to stay out too late and definitely no drinking. Why is it so? Does he just hate you having fun? No, it’s plainly simple: Studies show that athletes who take short naps or those who are well rested have improved motor reaction and coordination. And motor functioning plays the biggest role in gaming performance. Well-rested bodies also improve speed and skill of an athlete. So, keep that in mind when you have a big game the next day or when you want to just be at your best.

How To Take A Nap

Now that we’ve covered the topic of benefits napping has on the body. We’d like to also point out a few key characteristics of a good nap and our tips to achieve such.

1. Set a timer

how long to take a nap
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

What you want out of your nap depends greatly on the duration of your nap. A nap can range from five minutes to an hour and a half. While you’d think thirty-minute naps are ideal, studies have shown that the majority of people dislike thirty-minute naps. So, how long to take a nap? We can’t exactly say. It depends on upon what you set out to achieve from the nap. What you really ought to do is experiment with different duration of naps to see what you get out of each one. And for that, a timer is your best friend. Thus, a timer is a must have power nap time accessory in our humble opinion. If you want the best quality of power nap, that is.

2. Nap in The Afternoon

afternoon naps
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

So, when is the best time to nap? When should you schedule your nap so that you get the maximum benefit? Well, it’s the afternoon. Yup, afternoon naps are an ideal naps. It turns out the preschools knew what they’re doing, eh? It’s about midday, after a meal and before another one, that you should take a well-deserved nap. Napping too late disturbs your night sleep routine while napping too early hinders your ability to get enough rest. This is due to a feeling of lethargy that comes with oversleeping in the mornings.

3. Choose Optimal Conditions

Choose Optimal Conditions
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Now that we’ve considered duration and optimal timing of naps, let us take a good look at how you should take a nap. What are the conditions you need to consider to have a good nap and a restful one? Napping in a cool, dim light area is the best thing you can do for your naps. While napping in severely dark places can get you falling asleep deeply. Napping in well-lit areas hinders your ability to get proper rest. So, a dim lit area is your best option. Keeping your head elevated is also much recommended when it comes to effective napping.

4. Have Nap Accessories

how to take a nap
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Speaking about how to take naps, what all should you have while taking a nap? I’m glad you asked. You need your phone for sure, and no, it’s not to check social media till you fall asleep, like you do at nights. You need the timer on the phone to set your alarm. A cup of coffee or tea before a nap does wonders to make you feel fresh, awake, and all round good after you wake up. So that goes onto your checklist as well. Additionally, some people even sleep with a pencil between the fingers. The consensus is that your fingers slowly relax, and you wake up when the pencil hits the floor. Pretty clever, huh? So a pencil too if you’d like to try the method out for yourself on your next power nap time.

5. Get Plenty of Sleep

Get Plenty of Sleep
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

If you’ve made it this far in the article, then this point should be no surprise to you. Getting plenty of sleep is absolutely vital to your all round well-being. When 48 percent of Americans say they’re sleep deprived and only 34 percent nap regularly, there might be a problem that isn’t being fixed when it can easily be done so. Maybe we were right when we were young. Maybe we really ought to bring napping back. We know it does a miraculous job of bringing us to our A-game. So, why not?

Refrences & Further Reading
(H/T: littlethings | lifehacker | wikihow | webmd )

Please SHARE this article with all your loved ones and tell them how long to take a nap whenever they can.