Sometimes, working hard all day can be a rewarding and motivating feeling, as we are giving our best to achieving our goals. However, we need to remember that taking breaks can be quite healthy, too, and taking a nap may give us the energy we need to stay focused and positive. Even when it might not sound like it, there are amazing health benefits of napping, when we do it properly, and these are some of them.
- Naps keep your cognitive functions sharp. We all know there is a relation between the quality of sleep we get at night and the impact it can have on our performance. Naps are related to that, too, and they can have a positive impact on our learning and information retention skills. As a matter of fact, several studies have shown that one of the health benefits of napping properly is that they boost our mental performance during the day.
- They improve your heart health. Besides keeping our cognitive functions sharp, taking a nap regularly can reduce our chances of suffering from heart health issues. As a study by Harvard University found, napping for at least three times a week, and for at least 30 minutes, can make up for a lack of sleep, which can be quite detrimental for our heart health.
- Naps are great against stress and anxiety. Nobody likes feeling tired and sleepy, and this can even cause a lot of stress and, in turn, make us feel more tired. But napping when we feel stressed is one great way to counter the effects of stress hormones. Interestingly, studies have found that stress hormones can spike when we do not nap, resulting in increased stress levels, especially in the case of men.
- They also fight food cravings. More often than we think, giving in to food cravings when we are tired and craving for energy leads to poor diet habits. In order to fight these cravings, taking a nap is a great alternative to consuming snacks, even when we only nap for 10 or 15 minutes. This will help us stop thinking about food and give us the energy we so desperately need.
- Naps improve your physical performance, too. Some might think that napping is the exact opposite of doing exercise, but the truth is that they actually go hand in hand. Several studies have found evidence that proves short naps can boost the physical performance of athletes. Taking a short nap can improve our motor reacting skills and speed, which is the desired state of any athlete.
“The replenishing thing
that comes with a nap
– you end up with two mornings
in a day.”