Those who make fun of naps do not know what they are missing. Sleeping for a short time during the day can improve your mood, help you recover your energy and even improve your memory and your performance at work. If a little nap makes you feel better, why not give it a space in your day?
You probably remember when you lived in your hometown or when you visited the grandparents in the town. At noon the streets were empty, the shops closed, no noise was heard. Where are they all? “Sleeping after lunch. And now, shhhhh! That the grandfather is also resting “, they answered at home with naturalness.
This custom began to change with the hustle and bustle of big cities. Businesses no longer close at noon, work schedules do not allow to go to the house to nap, and it is not well seen to try to sleep 5 minutes on the desk. Even, it is common to criticize as “pueblerinas” those cities that still maintain the nap schedule (as it happens in many cities in Spain or Latin America).
From the medical point of view, health and well-being are always the most important. Therefore, life habits should not be classified as “modern” or “outdated”, but as healthy or unhealthy. The need to sleep and rest is natural for the human being, and it is necessary to devote time to this to relax the body, to release tensions and thoughts, and to recharge energies.
Over time and thanks to several scientific studies it has been proven that napping is a healthy habit. Our body is not designed to perform all day every day without stopping. And the naps have an incredible power of repair, both physical and mental.
For your body : relaxation, rest, release tension, activate your immune system and help your nervous system. Thanks to this, it helps you to stay healthy and avoid illnesses.
For the mind : According to the Foundation of the Dream of the United States, naps recover your alertness, which helps you to think more quickly, to improve your memory, to be more creative, to solve complex problems, etc. A NASA study is mentioned on its website, according to which military pilots and astronauts who were taking a 40-minute nap improved their performance by 34% and their alertness by 100%. In addition, psychologically, the nap break generates a feeling of well-being and relaxation, which effectively helps to improve your mood and reduce your stress levels.
That’s why most people say that, after a nap, they feel “like new,” fresh, rested, ready to cope with the activities of the rest of the day. And its effects are much better than having a concentrated coffee.
It was said that before the siesta was common because the activities were different: men and women got up to work very early either in the field or at home, and at noon they needed to sleep a little to recover their energies and avoid the heat (especially in tropical places or in the summer months). Today only nap is accepted for people with special needs such as children, the elderly or pregnant women.
Although it is true that work in the cities is no longer as physically exhausting as it was before the work of the field, yes it is mentally. And the nap is still very healthy so that our mind can perform in the long hours of work.
The question is not whether to sleep or not, but how much and when to sleep?
- Minimum 10 minutes. When you try to nap for 5 minutes, you never really get to a state of sleep, it’s impossible. Although resting in silence and with closed eyes for a few minutes is beneficial, the National Sleep Foundation recommends getting something to sleep for better results. That’s why the ideal is that your nap lasts at least 10 minutes.
- Only 10 minutes is the magic formula . According to the National Sleep Foundation, a study published in the newspaper “Sleep” (Sleep or Sleep) showed that 10-minute naps are the most benefits, because it is the ideal time to calm sleep, rest the body and the mind, and recharge the energies.
- Maximum 20 to 30 minutes . If you are one of the people who after a nap rises of bad temper and with a state of drowsiness that does not leave you, it means that you slept too much. Naps should not last more than 20 or 30 minutes, so that the nap stays in a light state of sleep, perfect to rest the body, but not to lose the alertness you need during the day. By sleeping deeply and for a long time, it will be very difficult to wake up and demand that the brain connect with reality quickly.
- Not too late. The hours of napping are not whims of someone or bad habits of a city. Generally the best time to take a nap is after lunch, which is the average time between morning and afternoon, and also allows you to digest food with ease. Taking a nap later can affect your night’s sleep, which is why it is not recommended.
With so many benefits, it is worth considering opening a space for naps in your daily life. Those 10 minutes a day dedicated to napping could work miracles in your health and your mood.