Why Napping is Good for Your Health
We no longer have to feel guilty for taking a nap, as science continues to show that napping is beneficial for your health. From reversing the effects of a bad sleep, to improving cognitive function, the humble nap is natural medicine for the mind and body.
Here are 5 health benefits of a siesta which show why napping is good for your health:
1. Keep alert
Just a short nap can reset your body clock, provide a shot of alertness, and even enhance productivity.
These short naps, known as stage 2 napping, has also been shown to help improve motor learning skills. So if you’ve just learnt to play an instrument, a little nap could help you pick it up faster.
2. Boost creativity and memory
Longer naps, known as slow-wave napping, of up to an hour have been found to improve our memory, creativity, and help us remember practical information like directions and memorising new words or data.
And, like stage 2 naps, these longer dozes have been shown to also keep us alert, while reducing mistakes and accidents. A NASA study done on astronauts found that a 40-minute doze peaked their performance by 34 percent and alertness by 100 percent.
3. Solve problems
An even longer nap, of up to 90 minutes, is when you slip into deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The longer snooze has been shown to help with cognitive function – namely helping the brain form new connections – which enhances problem solving abilities.
4. Keep the heart healthy
A number of other studies have found that taking a regular nap can even keep your ticker in tip-top shape, by reducing the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
5. Improve sleep quality
Struggling to sleep? Getting by on only a few hours of restless shuteye? A half-hour nap might help. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that even people who survive on two hours of sleep a night can overcome the “hormonal havoc” of poor sleep by taking a few brief naps throughout the day.
Researcher Brice Faraut said, “This is the first study that found napping could restore biomarkers of neuroendocrine and immune health to normal levels
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