Napping is probably one of the most overlooked tools in improving your well-being that is not only effective but costs nothing as well.
It, therefore, seems strange how so modern society treats napping as something that should be avoided even though our ancestors most likely napped frequently throughout the day.
You should know by now that taking a nap is one of the best ways to unwind, recharge, and relax physically and mentally.
It may be a guilty pleasure to some, but you should never have to think twice whether a nap is needed or not because you will always need one.
Here are five good reasons why you should schedule nap time in your days.
1. It Detoxes Your Brain
A nap is akin to giving your brain a break from the stress you’ve accumulated prior.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to take long. A 20 to 30 minutes nap taken after lunch can help clear brain fog and leave you feeling refreshed afterward.
It will also help you to better tackle whatever comes your way for the rest of the day.
2. A Nap Can Boost Your Mood
It is well known that exhaustion and irritability go hand-in-hand.
Let’s say that you have been pulling all-nighters for the past couple of days, and this has affected your normal sleep pattern, which in turn has left you feeling moody.
Most people would probably turn to drinking coffee or tea to slog through the ordeal (although with diminishing returns).
But there exists another simpler and more effective alternative: napping.
Scheduling naps at specific times of the day can act as a temporary solution to lift your mood while also giving your eyes some much needed rest, especially if you have been staring at a screen all day long.
You not only feel better when you are all around rested, you perform better as well.
3. Napping Improves Your Creativity
You never know when taking a nap will free your mind to make previously unrelated connections which can be helpful for problem solving.
This is because your subconscious mind is still active even when you are asleep, and napping is a great way to mimic sleeping.
It also provides the time and space needed for your subconscious mind to figure out the solutions to your problems in the background.
4. You Will Feel Better Physically
Napping not only gives your brain but also your body time to unwind.
A quick power nap is a great way to quickly recharge and ready yourself for whatever lies ahead.
You may also want to schedule multiple power naps throughout the day in order to keep your energy level up, especially if you work long hours.
5. Napping Can Be Used to Improve Your Memory
It goes without saying that the less cluttered your mind is, the better.
And this is exactly what napping does, as this Medical News Today article points out.
Everyone can benefit from more brain power, after all.
When You Should Consider Taking a Nap
The short answer is whenever you feel like it and when it is appropriate to do so.
An ideal napping environment would be one where you can comfortably rest and remain undisturbed for a set amount of time. It would be best if you can nap in a place that is completely dark, although this is optional.
The long answer is you should squeeze in a short nap if you:
- Are feeling exhausted or sleepy;
- Have a long shift at work and are experiencing a loss of energy;
- Want to have a quick getaway from whatever is bothering you; or
- Are looking for a quick way to recharge your mind and body.
Ideal Ways to Take Naps
Here are some ways for you to get the most out of your naps:
- Try to keep it short: Napping for 20 to 30 minutes is actually sufficient. Try not to over nap because being woken up afterwards can make you feel cranky.
- Aim to nap in the afternoon: Napping after 3PM can mess with your sleep later at night.
- Nap in a proper environment: Try to nap in a cold, quiet, and dark room with comfortable pillows and appropriate temperature.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks prior to napping: Having caffeine in your system can disrupt your na,p although some people can still have a good nap after consuming caffeine.
Meditating is another great alternative to napping if you find it difficult to do the latter for whatever reasons.