Most of us consider it a guilty pleasure we seldom allow ourselves to indulge in, but who are we to go against the recommendations of the National Sleep Foundation?
These sleep professionals suggest that by making the time to take a quick nap during the day, it can improve your mood, raise alertness and increase performance by up to 34%.
With the demands of daily life, we often become more and more sleep deprived and can eventually burn out. While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20 - 30 minutes can instantly boost your energy levels and productivity. Any longer than that and you risk becoming even more groggy and interfering with your nighttime sleep pattern.
Napping is a very important aspect of many cultures. Think of the lifestyle-rich Italians and Spaniards who close down their shops and businesses to partake an a nation-wide siesta after lunch everyday. Now THAT'S living!
Naps can be broken down into three types:
- Planned napping - when you take a nap before you actually become sleepy. Shift workers may use this method when they know they will be up later than their normal bed time.
- Emergency napping - occurs when you are suddenly very tired and cannot continue with the activity you were doing. This type of napping is encouraged when drivers begin to get drowsy at the wheel of a car or when workers are operating heavy machinery.
- Habitual napping - just like a daily siesta, this is when a person takes a nap at the same time each day and the body becomes use to the routine.
Far from being viewed as lazy, if you can fit a quick kip into your busy schedule, you'll be joining a long list of famous nappers including Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison.
So do yourself a favour and get an extra bit of shut-eye today. Your body will thank you for it!