We all know the importance of good sleep. If we could get a proper sleep at night, we feel refreshed. In the same way, if we could get some time for a nap in a day, we feel energetic. Sleeping for 10-90 minutes in a day is known as ‘Nap’. Young children and old people usually take nap but we, ‘the grown-ups’ have no time to take nap. Usually, a person is considered ‘lazy’ if he takes a regular nap but you will be surprised to know that napping actually reboots our whole system. In many studies, this fact has been proved that napping is good for health. A short nap of 15-20 minutes can make our immune system better, improve our mood and performance. This short period of sleep during a day is very beneficial for our memory and it works as a stress buster for us.
Napping is not new to humans. The ancient Roman used to take nap in the daytime. They used to sleep at sexta, which means the sixth hour. Sexta is like noon for ancient Romans. The word siesta is inspired from sexta. We feel that we don’t need to take a nap or we are too active to take nap but when we visit some village or a place with lack of time indication, we will find that we are snoozing in the daytime. It indicates that our body also loves to have rest in the daytime but we drag it and don’t let out mind to think about napping.
Health Benefits of Napping
To reboots your energy after half of the day, napping is far better than taking a cup of coffee. Here, we have summarised a few benefits of napping.
- It kills stress
The short duration of sleep in the daytime in mid of some work can bring us out from the stress. Lower tension indicated the lower heart disease. It shows that nap is good for the heart as well.
- It boosts the immunity system
Lack of sleep is responsible for many issues in our body. When we could not get proper sleep, the hormone named cortisol increases in our body. Excess of this hormone is responsible for abdominal fat and also weakens the immunity system. When we sleep, our body releases antidote hormone of the cortisol. This antidote hormone balances the quantity of the cortisol in our body and boosts our immune system.
- It increases Alertness
A snooze of 20- 30 minutes increases the alertness of our mind for the rest of the day. A study says that a nap of 20 minutes makes us as alert as the 200mg of caffeine. One research done on pilots has also shown the similar result. Pilots, who were allowed to take 25 minutes nap were 5 times more alert than other pilots who didn’t have that luxury.
While working for more than half a day, post lunch we feel a kind of laziness in us. Our eyelashes become heavy and we could not focus on our work properly. At this point, nap helps us out. After taking a nap of a few minutes we feel focused and more alert. Though taking a cup of coffee also helps but a nap is way better than that if you can get it.
- It improves Physical Stamina
Post lunch nap not only helps us to increase our mental strength but it improves our physical strength too. Many athletes use this trick. A nap gives a chance to our mind and body to relax. A training is done after a nap is as effective as the training done in the morning time.
- It improves Moods
When our body is stressed it uses a higher level of serotonin which makes us depressed. A nap controls the quantity of serotonin and brings the depression and anxiety level down.
Side effects of Napping
As every coin has two sides, so is this habit. The biggest problem of napping is nighttime sleep problem. A nap of more than 40 minutes can make you awake till late in the night. Nap is not suggested to the patients with insomnia.
When to Snooze
From 2 to 3 pm in the afternoon is considered the best hour for enjoying a nap. By this time, we usually had our lunch and after the work of more than half day, our body also craves for rest. Another reason of declaring this hour as the best hour of the day for napping is that by this time our blood sugar and energy level start dipping and we feel sleepy.
This has also been said by researchers that everyone has that unique time of the day for taking a nap but usually, we see that a healthy grown-up feel sleepy during these hours only.
Duration of Nap
The long length of nap like 60 minutes and more than 60 minutes can make us feel groggy. So, if you are working in an office and still able to enjoy this luxury then it’s better to keep the length of nap short. A nap of 10-20 minutes can boost our alertness. Few people love to have a nap of 30 minutes. A nap of 90 minutes (if you can afford it because many people can’t) is a complete cycle of sleep. It starts with light sleep than converts to a deep sleep and again rotates back to light sleep.
Nap in Office
Still, nap at work sounds funny to us. Have you ever let your eyes closed in a post-lunch meeting? Trust me if you could do so even for 10 minutes you will feel like a superhero for the rest of the day. Google, Uber, Nasa are the few of names who have allowed their employees to take breaks for napping. Few start-ups in India also let their employees enjoy the power nap breaks. Many Indian offices also have napping pod. Napping pod is like a special chair to enjoy a nap in the office or any other public area. Google office in Gurugram has napping pods.
Many companies in western countries have already realized the importance of napping. An employee with heavy eyelashes cannot give his 100 percent at work so, this would be better if you give him a break of 20-30 minutes and after that, he works with all his efficiency. Apart from the working efficiency, napping at work also makes the employees happy and a happy employee always works harder for the company. Many companies in India are also following this trend.