The 5 biggest health benefits of napping

18 December 2019

Love getting some midday shut-eye? Little did you know, your naps improve your health and wellbeing…

Napping

Here are five reasons you should definitely consider taking more naps.

1, Napping improves memory

It goes without saying that sleep is great for our brains. And while it’s important to ‘reset’ with a good 7–9 hours’ sleep at night, a mid-day top-up is great for keeping us at peak performance. For instance, researchers in Germany found that taking a one-hour nap in the middle of the day could make memory and recall as much as five times better. This could be especially good news for students who need to retain a lot of new information every day.

2. A nap can boost overall performance

Many researchers have looked at the connection between sleep and performance in certain tasks. One of the most-quoted studies was undertaken by NASA, who found that their super-human pilots and astronauts performed 34% better and were twice as alert after taking a 40-minute nap. If it works wonders for them, it can surely do the same for us!

3. 40 winks can help us cope with sleep deprivation

While there’s no substitute for a good 7-9 hours of restful sleep at night, a midday nap can be massively beneficial for anyone coping with a lack of sleep. Napping is highly recommended for people who work night shifts, who are dealing with jet lag or for new parents who have to wake up for night feeds. Researchers have even found a mid-day nap to be as effective as caffeine at helping us power through the day.

4. A short rest improves mood

A short rest in the middle of the day is not only good for improving performance and concentration – researchers believe it could make us happier, too. The science is still being explored, but many nap advocates swear that they wake up feeling energised and in much higher spirits.

5. Sleep helps us live longer

If you’re on the fence, surely this will convince you about the power of napping. New research from Greece has suggested that taking a nap of just 10–20 minutes can lower our blood pressure significantly – in fact, it can be just as effective as taking blood pressure medication. This could improve our overall health and help us to live longer, happier and more active lives. Not bad!

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