Yes, I said naps! As kids we dreaded having to take one, but our parents insisted. Doctors have revealed that as adults we can reap the same benefits as kids by taking naps. There are some companies that even install rooms for employees to encourage naps. If you are one of those that just thinks naps are for lazy people then read some of these benefits. You may be surprised.
1. Makes you more alert and productive
A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%. I am a morning person and am most alert and productive the first 4 hours after waking up. For me taking naps helps me to capture that alertness in the middle of the day.
2. Improves Health
Who would have thought that you could be healthier by just going to sleep? Sign me up! A study done with Greeks found that those that took a 30 minute nap at least three times a week had 37% less risk of dying from a heart-related condition. Among working men their risk of death was reduced 64%!
3. Relieves Stress
Napping gives your brain a chance to rest and your body a chance to heal. So often the stress of the day can put you in overload and impairs your ability to make good decisions. Taking a nap can give you a much needed brain break and allow the web of information to be detangled. The National Sleep Foundation recommends considering it "a mini-vacation." Even if you can't actually fall asleep a short period spent resting is just as relaxing.
4. Saves you money
How can taking a nap save you money? This may not work for everyone but if you could exchange your cup of coffee for a nap that could keep extra money in your pocket. Is taking a nap better than drinking a cup of coffee? Some say yes, because caffeine can decrease memory performance. So you may feel more wired after your drink, but you are also prone to making more mistakes. You can also keep extra funds in the bank by not having to purchase those energy drinks.
Still not convinced? Why not give it a try. For the past month I have been taking a 15-20 min nap during lunch at work. After I eat my lunch, I go to my car to grab a quick nap. It has certainly given me an extra boost in my afternoon productivity. Give it a try and see if it works for you. To quote the title of Sara Mednick's book, "Take a Nap and Change Your Life"