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| Health and Fitness

07/26/14

Nap to it: Why sleeping for a few minutes can actually do you good

When it comes to the topic of napping, you'll typically get varying opinions on the benefits of taking a quick snooze in the middle of the day.
Some argue that taking a nap only makes them even more tired than they already were, and even more irritable and annoyed on top of everything else. They'll tell you that they're "not a good napper" and leave it at that.
The opposite end of the sleeping spectrum will argue that napping is what gets them through the afternoon doldrums and keeps them from feeling sluggish and reaching for caffeine drinks that often do more harm than good.
So what's the truth about napping?
Most medical professionals and doctors alike most likely would lead to the latter group of people that endorse napping as a good thing. Napping can help with not only fatigue but promotes better memory and decreases stress just with 10 or 15 minutes of closing your eyes and invigorating energy levels on a daily basis.

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The real tricky part of a nap is not interfering or altering your sleep stages to the point that you're in such a deep sleep that when you wake up you feel disoriented or out of sorts. Napping for too long might also throw off the ability to sleep enough at night. Taking a nap that lasts for two or three hours really doesn't qualify under that heading and could jeopardize that 11 o'clock at night bedtime when you are supposed to go to sleep but don't "feel tired" anymore.
Through all the pros and cons of napping, another important question comes to the forefront: where exactly are you supposed to sleep during the day if you're at work? If your nap isn't happening on a lazy Saturday afternoon but rather on a boring, mid day Wednesday, you have to be careful that napping isn't confused with falling asleep at your desk.
Some companies actually have taken notice of how important a little respite during the day is and are now encouraging employees to nap and even setting up stations or spots for employees to relax for at least a little bit. More progressive supervisors and managers who have salaried employees who work 50 or more hours per week will tell those subordinates to set aside time to stop home in their travels and take a few minutes off the clock to sleep, knowing full well that they're working well beyond 5 at night.
No matter how you look at napping, the overall idea behind it makes sense: feeling rested enough to get through whatever the day throws at you. Thanks to a quick nap, you may discover how much easier that daily routine becomes.

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