How To Benefit From A Daily Nap
Last updated on : May 05 2023
This article explains why naps are beneficial for you, and the best practices for napping effectively.
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- Naps rejuvenate your skin
- A regular nap improves your memory
- Naps make you more alert
- Naps make you healthier
- Take a nap to increase productivity
- Napping prevents burnout
- Understand sleep cycles
- Take shorter rather than longer naps
- Find a comfortable and quiet place
- Practice meditation or relaxation techniques
- Try a "caffeine nap."
- Set an alarm
- Naps rejuvenate your skin
Are Naps Good For You
Sleeping Beauty never had to deal with dark circles around her eyes, because she slept so well.
While we are not suggesting that you hibernate for months, studies indicate that a short snooze can make a big difference to your general well being, and your overall beauty and appeal.
Here’s why napping, appropriately done once a day, can be right for you.
Naps rejuvenate your skin
All of us have tried at least a few beauty products that promise a bright, beautiful skin.
But there may be a more straightforward, natural way to achieve the glowing skin you always wanted —by napping.
Napping once in a day works wonders because your skin renews itself by growing new cells to replace older ones as you sleep. This repair and rebalancing mode is not only good for your skin but the entire body.
A regular nap improves your memory
Your working memory continually tackles complex tasks every day. It needs you to concentrate on a particular thing even as you keep several others in mind.
We all know the struggle and frustration caused by lack of concentration, but the good news is that a power nap can be a lot of help.
When you sleep, your retention power is improved as more recent thoughts get transferred to the part of your brain where you store long-term memories.
In short, napping can develop your thought processes and agility to learn, and improve your concentration.
Naps make you more alert
We all know the feeling of energy dipping by afternoon - and hate it most when there is a long way to go before our hectic day ends.
As you feel sleepy, you tend to lose focus and slow down, and this is something that can cause trouble in the workplace or even at home.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends a nap of 20-30 minutes at such times to restore alertness without having to deal with a tired feeling.
Naps make you healthier
Women today juggle multiple roles and often miss out on the required amount of sleep.
You may brush lack of sleep under the carpet, but it has several adverse effects on your health.
It leads to excessive amounts of cortisol in your body causing depression and anxiety, it wreaks havoc on your learning and memory skills, and it weakens your immune system. Lastly, it can lead to glucose intolerance, which causes weight gain.
A regular nap can solve these issues as your body gets the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate.
Take a nap to increase productivity
You can make as many schedules as you wish for better time management, but if you're sleepy, none of these schedules will do much for your productivity.
Instead, napping for 20 minutes a day will help boost your productivity levels by improving your energy, as demonstrated by a Harvard University study.
Napping prevents burnout
Our age of cut-throat competition and social media buzz builds constant frustration and high levels of stress, ultimately resulting in exhaustion and burnout in people of all ages.
To prevent burnout from happening to you, get into the habit of taking a short snooze daily—it works similar to a system reboot of your gadgets.
The benefits of daily napping are many, both for your health and your curves. However, it is essential to do it correctly.
According to experts, 10-20 minutes is the ideal nap time to recharge you both mentally and physically, without interfering with your night-time sleep.
Check out the tips below on how to develop a best practices napping methodology.
How To Nap Effectively
We now know that making naps part of your daily schedule, or stealing the time whenever you can is right for you. Developing a napping method is an excellent way to maximize the time you have - ensuring you get the most beautiful sleep you can.
Here are some proven tips.
Understand sleep cycles
Usually, we pass through four to five stages as we sleep: 1, 2, 3, 4 and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. These stages progress cyclically from 1 through REM then begin again.
A complete sleep cycle takes an average of 75 to 110 minutes, with each stage lasting between 5 to 20 minutes.
The first few cycles each night have relatively short REM sleeps and long periods of deep sleep but later in the night, REM periods lengthen and deep sleep time decreases.
The important takeaway is that each stage within a cycle lasts approximately 5 to 20 mins and that you typically don't hit deep sleep until after 45 mins.
Take shorter rather than longer naps
Given typical sleep cycles, a power-nap under 20 mins is enough for you to gain the full range of benefits, and also fits better into a working or otherwise busy day.
If you need longer, don't exceed 45 mins as this risks you transitioning into much deeper sleep and feeling groggy when waking up.
However, if you have the time, aim for at least 90 minutes. This duration will allow you to work through all the stages of sleep and avoid the disorientation associated with waking up too early.
Plan your nap times
Plan to take a nap rather than being tired forcing you into one.
It's better to take a nap when you suspect you'll need one, than falling asleep when you need to be alert.
So if you're driving, have to concentrate at work or perform any other task requiring alertness try coordinating the activity with a nap before.
Find a comfortable and quiet place
You'll sleep far better if you can lie down comfortably in a quiet, dark, and cool place. Trying to nap sitting up can take you significantly longer to fall asleep. And adding noise and light increases falling-asleep time even further.
If you've no choice, find a comfortable chair, wear an eyeshade and earplugs. Or play soft relaxing music to drown out background sounds that might stop you from sleeping.
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Practice meditation or relaxation techniques
Falling asleep fast needs your mind and body relaxed, with no nagging thoughts or stresses to interrupt or get in the way.
Meditation is a perfect way to relax your body and still your mind.
For an essential and useful technique try relaxing your muscles in stages from your head down to the tips of your toes while focussing on your breathing. Combine with a visualization of somewhere calming for added benefit.
You can also try repeating a positive mantra to push yourself gently into sleep. Keep count on your fingers rotating through each hand until you fall asleep - focus on the mantra not allowing any other thought to disturb you.
Mantra's like "I am so happy and grateful now that money comes to me, in increasing confidence, through multiple sources, and on a continuous basis" will leave you feeling positive (and maybe even with ways to get rich) and have a rhythm to them that help brings on sleep fast.
Focus on the repetition and cut out all other thoughts and you'll find yourself drifting off before you've counted out ten fingers.
Try a "caffeine nap."
If you're planning a power-nap of 20 minutes, try taking a cup of coffee just before you decide to sleep. Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, around the same time you'll be waking up.
Studies show that a caffeine nap can leave you more refreshed and alert on waking than just coffee or a nap alone.
Set an alarm
Setting the alarm ensures you wake up within the stipulated time, and that you don't oversleep into deeper stages. Napping is about short effective bursts of sleep and using an alarm helps to stick to this objective.
However, try to wean yourself off an alarm clock, particularly for your nighttime sleep. It's better to train yourself to wake up naturally than suddenly with an alarm clock.
Understanding how much sleep you need, the best times to nap or go to bed, and your circadian rhythms are some techniques to wean you off an alarm.
Embrace Your Daily Nap
Science shows that napping is right for you. So embrace rather than guilting yourself out of one. You'll perform better and accomplish more fully refreshed than tired and in need of sleep.
The Spanish have long understood the benefits of a daily nap, practicing an afternoon siesta with vigor and enthusiasm. Sure this practice might today be in decline, but its basis is thousands of years old because napping is beneficial for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the questions most frequently asked by our readers.
1. Why should I take a daily nap?
Napping can provide several benefits, including improved cognitive function, increased productivity, enhanced mood, reduced stress levels, and better overall health.
2. How long should my daily nap be?
The ideal length of a nap varies from person to person, but keeping it between 20-30 minutes is generally recommended. This length of time allows for a brief period of restorative sleep without causing sleep inertia or interfering with nighttime sleep.
3. When is the best time to take a daily nap?
The best time to nap is typically in the early afternoon, around 1-3pm, when your body's natural circadian rhythms naturally inclined towards a brief rest period.
4. What if I can't fall asleep during my daily nap?
Even if you can't fall asleep during your nap, simply resting quietly with your eyes closed can provide some benefits. If you cannot fall asleep at all, try adjusting your nap time or duration to align with your natural sleep patterns.
5. Can taking a daily nap make it harder to fall asleep at night?
It's unlikely that taking a daily nap will interfere with your nighttime sleep if you keep it relatively short and take it early enough in the day. Napping during the day can help you feel more rested and alert during waking hours, leading to better overall sleep quality.
6. What's the best way to nap?
Get the most out of your nap by finding a quiet, comfortable resting place away from distractions and bright lights. Try to lie down or recline to reduce pressure on your back and neck.
You may also want to set a timer or alarm to help you wake up at the appropriate time.
7. What if I don't have time for a daily nap?
Even if you can't take a full nap, a brief rest can still provide some benefits. Try deep breathing, meditation, or simply resting quietly with your eyes closed for a few minutes during your day.
Additionally, ensuring you're getting enough sleep at night can help reduce the need for a daytime nap.
8. Are there any downsides to taking a daily nap?
While taking a daily nap can provide numerous benefits, there are also some potential downsides. If you nap for too long or too late in the day, it can interfere with your nighttime sleep and lead to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
Additionally, some people may experience sleep inertia or grogginess after waking up from a nap, impacting their productivity and alertness. Finally, napping may not be appropriate for individuals with certain medical conditions or sleep disorders, so it's always important to check with your doctor before starting a new routine.
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