Benefits of Napping
Ok, so when I ran across this article on Q, Equinox’s blog, I couldn’t resist sharing it with you because it’s one of my favorite activities in the world: NAPPING! Naps are a relaxing and easy way to recharge, reduce stress and get the most of out your day (or night). I’m pretty fanatical about taking naps, my whole family is in fact. I was thrilled to learn that napping effectively makes you smarter!
Benefits of napping include:
- Reduced stress
- Better memory
- More creativity
- Improved alertness
“We need to stop thinking of napping as a luxury and recognize it as a biological necessity.”
And for me, it puts me in a really good mood!
Science of Napping
According to researcher and meditation guide Kelly Howell, known in her field as “The Brain Whisperer;” 20 minutes is plenty of time to recharge the brain. This length of time allows the brain to enter stage 2 of the sleep cycle. We also know this as NREM (non rapid eye movement) sleep, and is when short synchronized bursts of electrical activity, called sleep spindles, occur about 1,000 times per night. Research shows that more spindles, especially when they occur in the prefrontal cortex, results in the most refreshment in learning capacity after a nap. Wow!
How to Nap
There a couple of different kinds of naps/nappers:
- The Micro-Nap – 2-5 minutes
- The Mini-Nap: five to 20 minutes
- The Original Power Nap: 20 minutes
- The Lazy Man’s Nap: 50 – 90
Now, when are you going to take this nap? My personal rule of thumb is whenever I feel like it and have the opportunity. Since my naps are 20 minutes or less, this works for me. Others say 7 or 8 hours after you wake up, so around 1:00pm – 3:00pm. Any later and it will interfere with your nighttime sleep, the thinking goes.
And just so you know you’re in good company historical figures such as JFK, Salvador Dali, Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill and Thomas Edison were all known to nap.
For more fun facts, check out this amazing infographic. So nap well my friends, you’ve earned it!