HOW TO GET THE MOST BENEFIT FROM NAPPING?

Napping can be helpful or harmful depending on a few different factors, such as your age, what time and how long you nap, and the reason for your nap. How to get the most benefit from napping? It’s important to learn how each of these factors affects the impact of a nap.

1.Benefits of Napping

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Napping during the day can help us feel more awake and perform better – google image 

Homeostatic sleep drive is the technical term for the feeling of pressure to sleep. It is synonymous with the hunger we feel for food the longer it is after our last meal. When we wake up from a good night’s sleep, your homeostatic sleep drive is low. The pressure slowly increases throughout the day until bedtime, when we feel sleepy. Sleeping at night decreases sleep pressure, and then the cycle begins again the next day.

Napping during the day diminishes homeostatic sleep drive, which can help us feel more awake and perform better. As a result, napping can help with:

  • Relaxation
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Increased alertness
  • Improved mood
  • Improved performance, including quicker reaction time and better memory

Shift work is any work schedule that falls outside the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Shift work is associated with increased risk for health effects and injury due to sleep loss and circadian rhythm disruptions. Planned napping improves alertness and reaction time in shift workers.

2.Harms of Napping

Napping isn’t for everyone. Some people simply can’t sleep during the day or have trouble sleeping in places other than their own beds, which napping sometimes requires.

Napping can also have negative effects, such as:

  • Sleep inertia. You might feel groggy and disoriented after waking up from a nap.
  • Nighttime sleep problems. Short naps generally don’t affect nighttime sleep quality for most people. But if you experience insomnia or poor sleep quality at night, napping might worsen these problems. Long or frequent naps might interfere with nighttime sleep.

3.How to Take the Best Nap

Taking a few key steps will set you up for your most successful nap.

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Create a sleep-friendly environment – google image 

  • Set an alarm: Studies show that the best nap length for most people is about 10-20 minutes. This provides restorative sleep without drowsiness after waking. If you want to feel alert and productive after your nap, you can counter sleep inertia by limiting the amount of time you spend asleep.
  • Nap early: Napping late in the day can affect your ability to fall asleep at bedtime.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment: To fall asleep, your space should be conducive to napping. Depending on where you are, you may or may not have a comfortable mattress available, but it helps to nap in a comfortable space that is dark, cool, and quiet.
  • Set aside your worries: Ruminating on sources of stress will keep you awake. If you’re having trouble letting go of concerns and to-do lists, try practicing relaxation exercises. These can help you fall asleep and wake from your nap feeling refreshed and recharged.
  • Reflect on why you’re napping: Think about what you hope to gain from your nap. When you set intentions, you can plan your nap around those goals.

Source: sleepfoundation, mayoclinic.

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