Snuggle Up — Napping Is Definitely Good for You
Good news for those of us who like to catch a few extra ZZZs when we can: Study after study shows that naps are healthy for people of all ages, and we should definitely be taking quick ones when we can.
It’s time we all follow the lead of cutting-edge companies like Google and Apple, and start finding a way to work some quick shuteye into the middle of our workday. Here's why:
- Naps boost attention, focus and productivity
- Naps help relieve anxiety and improve mood
- A nap can even help boost your problem-solving skills, learning ability and memory
If you feel like you should be getting the beneficial brain reboot that naps can provide, we put together a few tips for doing it right:
Most experts recommend about 20 minutes for a nap. Naps that range from 10 to 20 minutes can help improve alertness and energy, and a short nap like that will keep you out of deep sleep so you don’t wake up groggy. Taking a 30-minute nap might put you in a deeper sleep, and it could take half an hour to recover from the “sleep inertia.”
For improvements in memory, arranging for an hourlong nap in your day is good. This longer nap gets you in a deep sleep for a while, which can be beneficial for remembering things like facts, faces and names. However, sleeping that long will require more recovery time when you wake up.
Finally, if you’ve got the time, napping for 90 minutes will give you a full sleep cycle and improve your emotional and procedural memory. It also boosts creativity. A longer nap like this helps you avoid grogginess because you’ve gone through the full cycle of sleep. You can even use a sleep-cycle app to help wake you during the correct cycle, so you’re refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.