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What are the benefits of napping?

What are benefits of napping?
Taking a nap may lower blood pressure

Napping has benefits, that can create positive effects on physical and mental health. Napping offers many benefits like- Relaxation, reduced fatigue, increased alertness, better mood, improvement in performance with quicker action, and better memory. It also helps in lowering high blood pressure, which is the risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

What are the benefits of napping?

What are the benefits of napping
What are the benefits of napping

Napping has many health benefits like- improving cardiovascular health, strengthening our immune system, enhancing psychomotor skills, boosting working performance. etc. Napping also provides positive mental benefits like- reducing stress levels, increasing memory retention, and decreasing the risk of cognitive dysfunction. (cognitive dysfunction- is a decrease in attention, verbal and non-verbal learning, short-term and working memory, visual and auditory processing, problem-solving, processing speed, and motor functioning).

  • A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness by 100%.
  • Napping provides psychological benefits. A nap can be an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.

Napping benefits- It may help to reduce high blood pressure

Healthy adults may not require a nap. But for many people- Napping during the daytime has positive impacts on their health. Napping helps you feel refreshed with improved mood and energy levels. Taking a nap during the daytime may- lower blood pressure, gives a boost to energy level, and helps in mood elevation.- A recent study has found. For more reading- How high blood pressure impacts the health of a person? <<= Click here.

As per Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist at the Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula in Greece. " Midday sleep appears to lower blood pressure levels at the same magnitude as other lifestyle changes. "

Nap during the daytime may lower an average 5mm Hg drop in blood pressure.

"These findings are important because a drop in blood pressure as small as 2 mm Hg can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack by up to 10%," said Kallistratos.

Is napping good for you?

Besides having positive health benefits, Napping is good for adults and children. It helps in reducing daytime sleepiness and boosts learning and performing capabilities. Individual needs for napping may vary from person to person.

How much time should you nap?

Researchers suggest that 20 minutes nap is the ideal napping time. It enables rest to your mind and body. And prevents into entering in deeper stages of sleep, which may disturb your nighttime sleep. With the amount of time available and as per your body requirements, you can have 60 to 90 minutes of deep slow-wave sleep that end up in the lighter stages of sleep. Medium length sleep of around 45 minutes may wake up you during the slow-wave sleep. Which may leave you with a groggy feeling- called sleep inertia.

It has been found that when people napped for around 30 minutes, they had better memory recall and superior cognition than both non- nappers and those who napped for a longer length of time.

When should you nap?

Napping requirements depends upon your body's needs. You may consider having a nap if you:

  • Are experiencing loss of sleep due to long working hours.
  • Feeling fatigued or unexpected sleepiness.
  • Want to make planned naps a part of your daily routine.

The sudden increased need for napping- Maybe due to health problems.

If you are experiencing a sudden need for increased sleep during the daytime without any reason. You should consult your healthcare provider. You may be taking some medicine or may have some health problem that is interfering with your nighttime quality and quantity of sleep.

What is the best way to nap for maximum napping benefits?

  • Take short naps:- Take short duration naps of 10 to 20 minutes. Longer naps may make you feel groggy.
  • Prefer to take nap during the early afternoon:- The best time to nap may depend on individual needs like- your sleeping schedule, age, medications, etc. For optimum health benefits of napping prefer to nap during the early afternoon. The napping during late hours may disturb your night's sleep quality and quantity.
  • Nap in a restful environment:- Take a nap in a peaceful and comfortable environment with no distractions for the maximum health benefits of napping. After napping takes few minutes to wake up and restart your daily schedule with energy and enthusiasm.
  • Scheduling daily napping:- Fixing a daily napping schedule may help to reduce symptoms of insomnia (Lack of sleep), Hypersomnia (Too much sleep), and other sleep disorders.

Longer napping hours may have adverse effects.

Longer napping hours may have adverse effects on health
Longer napping hours may have adverse effects on health

Longer and frequent napping may indicate certain health problems like- sleep disorders, mental health concerns, diabetes, or cardiovascular problems. Excessive napping may cause sleep inertia (sleep inertia results from waking abruptly out of deep sleep). Sleep inertia may lead to reduced alertness and diminished work performance. Long naps may also be correlated to low productivity and higher mortality in older adults.

Wishing all a healthy life.

For awareness purposes only.

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Surinder Bhalla.

Surinder Bhalla

Blogger & Marketing consultant

40+ Years of experience in the healthcare industry.