Did you know naps can actually greatly benefit your physical and emotional health? If you can’t find extra time at night to catch up on missed hours of sleep, daytime naps can be a great, natural way to fight sleep deprivation.

Sara C. Mednick, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life says, “You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping. You reset [your body’s] system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance. That’s what most people really need to stave off sleepiness and get an energy boost.”

It is important to keep in mind that the length of your nap helps to determine its benefits. A 20-minute power nap is good for alertness and motor skills. A 30-60 minute nap is good for decision-making skills, and a 60-90 minute nap helps the brain make new connections and solve creative problems.

In any situation, taking a nap is more beneficial than drinking a cup of coffee. Caffeine may make you been more wired for a short period of time, but it can also decrease the performance of your memory.

In the long term, napping regularly may help to reduce stress and can even decrease your risk of heart disease, according to research from the Harvard School of Public Health.

To get the most out of power napping, consider these tips:

  • Be regular in your nap schedule. The prime time for napping time falls in the middle of the day—between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.
  • Set an alarm for 30 minutes (or less) if you don’t want to wake up groggy.
  • Try napping in a dark room or even attempt to wear an eye mask. Blocking out light helps you fall asleep faster.
  • Stash a blanket nearby because your body temperature drops while you’re asleep.

Naps can be wonderfully beneficial for your physical and emotional health. In the short term, naps can improve brain function, and in the long term naps have the potential to decrease your risk of heart disease. However, it is important to remember that short power naps are more helpful than longer ones, as longer naps may disrupt your sleep cycle.

At Tranquiliti Wellness Center, we care about your personal health, whether it is physical or mental. To learn more about the wellness services we offer, please give us a call today at (407)448-0244.