Pros and Cons of Napping

Pros and Cons of Napping

Everyone is different when it comes to taking a midday snooze. If you’re craving a nap, there could be a reason why.

Reasons for Napping

Dr. Sara Mednick, a psychologist at The University of California, Riverside, makes the point that it’s vital to ask yourself why you are napping. You could be feeling tired during the day for a number of reasons; insomnia, stress, depression, sleep apnea, or another sleep-impacting condition. Sleep researcher Yue Leng of the University of Cambridge says, “daytime napping is an early indicator of underlying ill health.”

Benefits of Napping

Napping is good for most people. Naps between 15-90 minutes can improve brain functions like memory, focus, and creativity. Naps can almost be as restorative as a full night’s sleep. Naps can also lower stress levels, recharge your willpower to complete tasks, and even lower your chances of developing cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

All of these benefits depend on a full night’s rest, and whether or not you are able to nap well. A lot of people are “bad nappers.” Habitual nappers are able to fall asleep quickly and don’t plunge into a deep sleep. This enables them to wake up easily and energized. Bad nappers either can’t fall asleep or are deep sleepers, which can cause a groggy feeling when you awaken.

Habitual vs. Bad Nappers

Habitual, or natural, nappers account for about 40% of the population. This group benefits from napping and tend to do poorly if they do not get a nap in. When habitual nappers are not able to get their midday nap, they tend to reach for an afternoon coffee or energy drink. These stimulants make people feel awake, but do not actually recharge the body like a nap. Not napping for people like this can kill their productivity.

The length of an ideal nap varies from person to person. Some people can feel ready to go after a 20-minute nap, while some prefer up to 90 minutes of rest. To find out how long you should nap, try taking short naps at first and see what works for you. Also, if you are feeling tired during the day, try increasing the amount of time you spend asleep at night.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below!

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