Do you find it difficult to arrive fully awake and attentive at night? Have you ever woken up feeling more tired after sleeping eight hours at night? Maybe you’re needing to add a little nap every afternoon, for the sake of your physical and mental health.
Taking a nap in the afternoon can be healthful for your organism, according to a study published in the scientific journal “Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine”. Research showed that taking a short nap can improve memory, increase learning ability and reduce the risk of heart disease, and also recover enough energy to be able to complete all your daily tasks.
The benefits of an afternoon nap for your body and mind
One of the main benefits of taking an afternoon nap is that it can help improve memory. According to the study mentioned above, those people who took a nap for 20-30 minutes showed an improvement in the ability to retain and remember information. This is because during napping, there is an increase in the production of certain hormones that help fix information in long-term memory.
Another benefit of taking an afternoon nap is that it can increase learning ability. The research also found that those people who took a nap showed an improvement in the ability to perform tasks that required cognitive skills, such as solving problems and making decisions. This is because napping helps to rest the brain and prepare it to face new challenges more efficiently.
In addition, taking a nap in the afternoon can also help reduce the risk of heart disease. A study published in the journal “Heart” found that those people who took a nap regularly had a 37% lower risk of developing heart disease compared to those who did not. This is because napping helps regulate blood pressure and reduce stress, which can contribute to preventing heart disease.
As for how long it is advisable for the nap to last, research suggests that a 20 to 30 minutes nap is the optimal duration to get the benefits mentioned above. If the nap lasts longer, the sleep cycle may be disrupted and a feeling of drowsiness and disorientation may occur upon awakening. For this reason, it is best to limit yourself to a short and efficient nap.
Avoid naps longer than 30 minutes
If a person takes a nap longer than 30 minutes, it is possible that the sleep cycle will be disrupted, and a feeling of drowsiness and disorientation will occur upon awakening. This is because when we sleep, our brain enters different phases of sleep, and if we interrupt that cycle, it can be difficult to fall asleep again. Therefore, a nap of more than 30 minutes can leave a person more tired and disoriented, rather than rested and alert.
In addition, taking a long nap can also affect the quality of night sleep. If a person falls asleep too late after a long nap, it can interfere with his natural sleep cycle and make it difficult for him to fall asleep that night. This can lead to poor sleep quality and feeling tired and little awake the next day.
Is it ok to take a snack before a nap?
It is advisable to eat a small meal before taking a nap to avoid feeling dizzy or weak when waking up. However, it is important not to overeat, as this could make it difficult to sleep. In addition, it is recommended to avoid heavy or fatty meals that can cause indigestion and make it difficult to rest.
In general, it is better to opt for a light and healthy meal before the nap, just a little snack is perfect.