Today, I want to focus on naps and how they can be beneficial to your life. When we hear the word “nap” we usually picture an infant or a toddler, but I want to change your perspective. Have you ever thought that napping could be the answer to a lot of your everyday problems? Many famous people and great minds of the past were firm believers in naps. People such as Edison, Churchill, and JFK took naps daily as they believed it was good for the body and mind. One reason for getting some shut eye during the day is increased alertness. NASA did a study that showed that just 40 minutes of sleeping during the day can increase your level of alertness by 100%. Scientists also suggested that just 25 minutes of sleep can be more effective than 200 mg of caffeine or a light exercise! Being more alert helps a person make less mistakes and increase productivity.<
Taking a 30 minute nap break can also improve comprehension and memory. Naps improve your working memory, the part of your memory that lets you remember things while working on separate tasks. Napping also improves your memory retention. During sleep, your brain stores information (memories) in the neocortex, the place in your head where memories are stored for long term. Heightened senses and creativity are two more positive outcomes of taking a nap. This means that everything pleasurable in your life will be enhanced. By taking a nap, your mind is able to be on “standby” which helps organize ideas so that you are better able to accomplish future tasks.
If it is not obvious by this point, napping is good for your health. By taking just 30 min to rest, your body has a chance to produce the growth hormone, which fights off excess cortisol in the body. When a person doesn’t get adequate sleep, cortisol builds up in the body which can increase glucose intolerance and abdominal fat. By getting proper sleep, we maintain healthy hormone levels, reduce stress, and improve the immune system.
In conclusion, taking that 30 min nap during the day is wise if you can find the time. The most important thing to take away from this is that you need the proper amount of sleep each night to function at full capacity. Just like your body needs rest after an intense exercise regiment, your brain needs a rest from everything it processes.
- Nick Cupp, CPT
Nick Cupp is a Certified Personal Trainer at iN8 Fitness (weight loss programs, personal training, rehabilitation) in Lake Mary, FL. He attended the University of Central Florida where he majored in Sports and Exercise Science. He is certified as a trainer through AFAA. Call our Lake Mary office today at 407-302-5161 to see how we can help you meet your weight loss and wellness goals!