When we’re young, naps are an essential part of our lives. As we grow older, it’s almost frowned upon in our workaholic, North American culture. We see people who nap as lazy instead of ambitious. We perceive of it as missed time instead of a chance to rejuvenate to do better work afterwards.
Most animals sleep in different phases throughout a 24 hour period. Although humans have slept in different patterns throughout the ages, for the most part we now sleep monophasically – in one big chunk of our day. The simple reason for our current sleep patterns is that most modern jobs don’t allow us to nap.
But the daytime snooze is still hardwired into our biology. Studies show that when people are put into an environment that lacks any indication of time, they naturally fall into the biphasic (one large rest with a smaller subsequent rest) sleep pattern.
Studies show that napping offers many long and short term health benefits. These are just a few:
The amount of time you spend napping impacts the benefits you receive from it. Nap too long and it may be counterproductive to what you’re trying to accomplish.
The key to benefit from naps is the hidden healing that goes on while we sleep – we just have to make the time so they can happen. It’s easy to get caught up in our daily routines and think that taking a nap will take away from the work that we need to do. Numerous studies have proven the exact opposite. A short 10 – 30 min nap can boost productivity and alertness, which can make your afternoon just as productive as your morning.
Whether you lay your head down on your desk or sneak out to your car on your lunch break, taking the time to get some shut eye can have a profound impact on your life.
Here’s a short and informative video that gives more insight into nap times and their benefits.
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