There is a misconception among many that napping is only for children. But in actuality, adults can benefit from some nap time every now and then as well. Napping provides a variety of health benefits for adults, such as relaxation, increased alertness, less fatigue, and improved memory performance. However, there is also the possibility of too much napping. If you do nap, it’s important to know how much napping is the right amount, when naps should be avoided, and the best time of day to take a nap.
The Benefits of Napping
Naps can help you increase your lasting energy throughout the day. Ever feel that bout of fatigue start to hit you in the early afternoon? A short nap could be just what the doctor ordered to replenish your energy reserves and keep you going well into the evening.
Naps can also serve to improve your mood. People tend to get irritable and grumpy when they get tired, and taking a short nap could benefit you and those you come into contact with for the rest of the day. A short nap can also help you remain alert, enabling you to improve productivity and performance and keeping you safe as you go about your day.
When to Avoid Napping
If you have trouble getting a full, restful night of sleep on a regular basis, then attempting a nap during the day might make the condition worse. Whether you have trouble sleeping due to insomnia, stress, anxiety, or illness, it is best to avoid a nap and try to remedy the main problem causing you to suffer from poor sleep. A nap could cause poor sleep habits to develop, leading to more long-term sleep issues.
Even if you don’t suffer from any sleep disorders, if you nap for too long, you may wake up still feeling groggy, and the feeling can stay with you for the remainder of the day.
How to Nap Properly
Studies have shown that the best length of a nap for adults is within the time frame of 10-30 minutes. This is enough to kickstart your brain function and instill you with much-needed energy to shake off that mid-afternoon sleepy sensation. Mid-afternoon is also the best time to take a nap. Because the nap is taken relatively early in the afternoon, it is less likely to interfere with you trying to fall asleep at night.
When napping, it is important to find a restful, comfortable environment to take your nap in. Someplace noisy, distracting, or uncomfortable will only prevent you from sleeping or will result in a broken nap, which won’t really help much.
If you find yourself chronically unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, you may want to consult with a physician within the BodyLogicMD network to ensure your melatonin and hormone levels are balanced—both of these are crucial for obtaining a good night’s sleep, protecting your overall health and wellbeing, and enjoying the benefits that proper rest can bring.