Do you love a good afternoon nap? If so you’re in good company, according to a study by the Pew Research Center one-third of Americans take a nap on a daily basis. That’s not too surprising considering that according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine one in five American adults is sleep-deprived. While napping shouldn’t replace the recommended amount of sleep of 7-9 hours per night, there are numerous health benefits to be reaped. There are different types of naps such as short power naps ranging from 15-20 minutes, 30-60 minute naps where the body begins to go into a deeper sleep state, and lastly the refresher 90-minute nap which allows the body to go through a full sleep cycle. Keep reading to find out more about these 6 surprising health benefits of napping.
Fatigue can lead to negative emotions such as stress, frustration, anxiety, and irritability. Research has shown that even short naps can reduce stress and anxiety and promote feelings of happiness and patience. According to Science Direct, nappers are able to tolerate frustration significantly longer than non-nappers.
Napping has been shown to improve physical performance. In fact, many athletes choose to nap because of the benefits. Dan McCarthy, High-Performance Consultant at USA Swimming said "Sleep is the time when the body recovers from the stresses loaded upon it, and the repair of muscle and connective tissue begins. Naps are an excellent tool for athletes in training and on game day as well."
If you find yourself struggling with creativity, a nap might be exactly what you need. Naps have been shown to help you get your creative juices flowing. According to a study by the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep enhances creative problem-solving. According to the study in order to reap the creative problem-solving benefits you need to nap for a minimum of one hour so your body can slip into rapid eye movement (REM).
Napping has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health. According to the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland, those who nap once or twice a week lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease incidents such as heart attack or stroke by 48 percent!