According to a study, having a short nap in the afternoon can be good for our health.
The research, done at Asklepieion General Hospital in Greece with 212 individuals showed that the participants who took a siesta (afternoon nap) experienced a reduction in their blood pressure of an average 5 mm hg.
A brief nap helps us reduce the sleepiness almost right away and boosts our alertness for several hours after waking up. But, napping has so many other advantages to offer. Check out some of them below.
What Are the Benefits of Afternoon Naps?
Naps aren’t just good for us because they reduce our sleepiness and increase our alertness, but also better our cognition, reaction times, short-term memory, and can even boost our mood.
A research group discovered that motor learning, i.e. how brain pathways change when learning a new skill, was much bigger after an afternoon nap for the people who regularly napped in comparison to those from the group who didn’t nap.
How Long Should Your Nap Be?
The napping time is often conditioned by several factors and it usually depends on your free time, what you expect from the nap, and what the plan for the night is.
The longer your nap is, the longer you’ll feel more energized after waking up.
Long naps of one to two hours in the afternoon will make you less sleepy that night and you will need less sleep and thus, you’ll need longer than usually to fall asleep at night.
So, if you want to stay up a bit longer in the night, time your afternoon nap for approximately 1.5 hours. You will be in deep sleep for an hour and a lighter sleep for 30 minutes.
When you wake up during the lighter hours of sleep, you’ll be fresher and more alert. But, if you do this in deep sleep, you won’t.
Therefore, very long naps may counteract and cause you to feel drowsy and sluggish. However, the drowsiness will go away-it’s temporary.
Brief Power Naps Are the New Thing
These power naps are naps of 10 to 15 minutes that are considered beneficial for the cognition, performance, and mood.
With the help of these naps, you won’t feel sluggish or drowsy because you won’t be entering a deep sleep phase.