It’s common that some towns in countries outside the USA actually stop everything in the afternoon, while people come home from work to take a nap, rest a bit and come back.
In the USA, it’s rare that people take an afternoon nap since we are very busy, and people who do so are considered to be lazy. If you’re not one of the people who enjoy taking naps during the day, you should change that. It’s very beneficial for your health and it’s an integral part of the sleep-wake cycle rhythm.
Take any working day of the week for example. As time goes by, your attention, focus and alertness start to go down, even if you’ve had 8-10 hours of sleep. It’s the same whether you do intellectual work or just do your job.
Taking a nap for 15-20 minutes can recharge your batteries and bring your energy back up. Huge companies noticed this and practice it to their employees. For example, Google and Apple give their employees a break after lunch to take a nap. It’s been confirmed by studies too that short naps will make your productivity go up.
There was a study conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder and its results showed that kids who took an afternoon nap displayed more signs of interest and joy, and lesser level of anxiety than those who didn’t. They also solved problems easier. This is also true for adults.
There was another study with Berkeley that proved that adults that didn’t take an afternoon nap had lower learning ability and worse memory than those who did. So, have you noticed how you computer becomes faster after you reboot it? Napping does the same thing to your brain.
How long should it be?
10-20 minutes is enough according to experts to recharge your energy and refresh your mind. If you sleep more, you will get in a deeper sleep and your brain will have a harder time getting back to your daily activities.
This happens when you take a nap longer than half an hour. And if you actually didn’t get enough sleep that night, it’s recommended that you sleep for 1 hour and a half. Also, it will boost your creativity and emotional memory.
So, if you thought you’re wasting time with naps, it’s time to change your mind. The benefits are huge.