Are Naps Good for You?
Absolutely! Sleep experts have found that daytime naps can help boost creativity, improve memory, reduce stress, and even enhance your sex life. If you’re also looking to reduce the risk of heart attack, stay alert, or perhaps even boost productivity at work, a 20 or 30-minute power nap is the way to go.
Sometimes, as the day wears on, you may notice you’re literally dragging yourself to get stuff done. While this may be due to poor sleep quality the previous night, it could also be that you’ve had a particularly busy day, or something you took during lunch break might have messed up your ‘alert hormones.’
Whatever the case, going for a quick nap either to relax or re-energize is a good idea, right? Actually, that depends on the time of day you take a nap. Because, napping at the wrong time of day…or for too long can end up being counterproductive.
So, when is a good time to nap during the day?
The ideal time to power-nap [a short sleep taken during the working day in order to restore one's mental alertness] is anytime between 1 - 3 pm. And that’s because napping any time after that could affect your nighttime sleep, and you don’t want that.
How long should I take a nap?
You can power-nap for 20 – 30 minutes or at most keep naps to less than an hour. Why? Napping for an hour or longer increases the risk of falling into the deeper stages of sleep which can leave you feeling groggy when you wake up.
What are some benefits of daytime naps?
- It restores alertness, boosts performance, and improve accuracy
- It acts as mini-vacations in-between work, promoting relaxation and rejuvenation
- It helps reduce fatigue
- It boosts memory
- It promotes quicker reaction time
So, are power naps for everyone?
Well, napping isn’t ideal for everyone. For instance, if you’re the type who just can’t get yourself to sleep during the day, or perhaps you have trouble falling asleep anywhere else other than your home or bedroom, daytime naps might not be such a good idea.
Some people wake up from a nap feeling exhausted or disoriented for prolonged periods of time. If you’re in this category, perhaps you should avoid daytime naps.
Also, while short naps taken between 1 to 3 pm works great for most people, there are the few who literally experience insomnia or very poor sleep after taking a nap during the day.
Popular types of napping
Planned naps: This involves taking a nap before you feel sleepy. It’s a good technique when you’re looking to stay awake beyond your normal bedtime.
Emergency naps: This is good for when you suddenly feel very tired and cannot keep up with your current task. Emergency naps are perfect for combating drowsy driving or exhaustion
Habitual naps: This is for when a person takes a nap at about the same time every day. For instance, you can decide to power-nap around 2 pm every single day until it runs on autopilot.
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