For many, nap time becomes a thing of the past once they’re out of childhood. But numerous studies have pointed to the benefits napping can have on health, productivity and cognitive function.
How can your life benefit from a little midday shut-eye? Here are four serious upsides to adding a nap to your schedule:
- Work better — Napping has been found to improve memory and allow new information to be absorbed. Dr. Sara Mednick, an assistant professor at the University of California Riverside, found that participants who had a 60- to 90-minute nap showed the same positive results on visual learning tasks as those who’d slept a full eight hours. Napping also boosts mood, which can lead to more productive collaboration in the workplace.
- Look your best — Beauty sleep isn’t a myth. Skin heals faster when we sleep. A nap can also inhibit the production of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates our appetite, which can aid in weight loss.
- Feel great — Healthy amounts of sleep, including napping, lead to the release of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. A midday sleep has also proven to be more effective than caffeine for giving an energy boost.
- Live healthily — Several issues, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks and depression, have been linked to the cumulative effects of sleep deprivation. To sleep better each night, stop using technology at least an hour before snoozing and stick to a routine when it comes to going to bed and waking up each day.
Need help napping? If you’re looking for a quick power nap, aim for 26 minutes of shut-eye, which NASA scientists found improved alertness. If you have more time to spare, try to nap for a full hour to reap the benefits of improved memory.