In Praise of Napping: The science behind the perfect daytime snooze
In our fast-paced world, most of us aren’t getting enough shut-eye. The solution? A well-earned nap. Taking a nap in the middle of the day can have a profound effect on the way you think and feel. In fact, some of the world’s brightest minds are known to religiously take daily naps. Here’s a breakdown of the four different types of napping and how they could be the answer to your tiredness woes.
There are all kinds of reasons that people need to catch some zzz’s during the day, but the most common is for recovery. If you’re a night owl that loves staying up late or you’re just struggling with your sleep routine, a recovery nap can help you to revitalise from lost sleep. Pushing yourself through a period of sleep deprivation will only make matters worse - catching forty winks can help to improve your state of mind and reset your body clock. Compensating for sleep loss should never be underestimated.
Whether it’s a big week at work or it’s your turn to look after the baby at night, using napping to prepare for exhaustion can be super helpful. Prophylactic napping can help to keep you awake, focused and even peppy at times when you would otherwise be sleeping standing up. The idea is to take 20-30 min naps each day leading up to your big event, so you can feel fully prepared. It can be tricky to nap when you’re not tired, so we’d suggest lounging in the garden on a Hangout Pod and using natural sounds to help you drift off.
Who said there has to be a reason to nap? Many people get their head down during their lunch breaks not because they’re tired, but because they love their sleep. Several European countries, such as France and Spain, have already made these naps part of their culture in the form of midday siestas. Plus, a quick 30 minute nap has been shown to drastically improve work performance, mood and alertness. If you simply love napping, then go for it - the science is behind you!
If you’re feeling under the weather in your mind or body, a half an hour nap each day can help to steer you on the road to recovery. When you’re feeling ill, your immune system is using a lot of energy to fight the sickness. So, on top of your nightly sleep, a nap gives your body that extra support it needs to get you back on your feet. Naps can also boost your state of mind, giving your brain some well-earned TLC to relax away from the waking world.
Who said that sleeping is only allowed at night? Napping should be seen as an opportunity to refresh your body and mind. Taking the time to top up on your energy levels can help to improve your outlook on life - both waking and sleeping.