3 Health Benefits of Taking a Daily Nap

When we were kids, we knew the importance of napping. Or at least, our parents did. They knew that by making sure we had one or two daily naps, we’d be happier, healthier and more rested children. At university, we continued to nap often; usually to cope with the stress of exams, or to summon the energy for another night out by recovering from the night before.

When we reach our ‘golden years’, we’re likely to return to napping, too. Yet in the space in-between, from our 20s to say, our 50s or 60s, we refuse to nap. We may see it as a sign of weakness. Or we simply don’t have the time. The sad thing is, although we work and play to the point of exhaustion, we don’t get the rest we so vitally need.

Getting enough, good-quality sleep is vital to our general happiness and health. It’s better than any beauty masks or creams out there, and you might even say that sleep is a beauty essential. Here are 3 more benefits that a daily nap can have on your health:

1. Napping helps you to keep strong and fit

If sleep deprived, you’re more likely to develop conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. This is thanks to a weaker immune system and higher blood sugar levels, among other things.

When you’re well rested, however, your health gets a major boost. Your immune system will be stronger so you won’t fall prey to every bug going around. Plus, a power nap gives your weary body a break, too. The physical act of lying down for 10 or 15 minutes helps you to slow down and recover from all that running around. So you’ll have more energy to face whatever the rest of the day has in store. Yay!.

2. Napping keeps you motivated

When you don’t get enough sleep, it’s hard to get the energy to do anything. You can barely make it through the work day, let alone stick to that healthy eating plan or get up early for a morning run. But, just like napping helps your body to keep strong and fit, it makes you motivated to get strong in the first place.

First of all, you’re more likely to exercise often and eat well – which is good news for both body and mind!

Second of all, sleep helps you to make smarter, healthier choices. This can be true for your work life – in fact, Forbes recommends having a 10-minute power nap every day – and also for your overall health.

For instance, your foggy brain, in need of a sugar fix, will normally choose the chocolate croissant and giant coffee over granola and juice. But the well-rested, post-nap brain, will know what’s good for the body...and will make a wiser decision as a result.

So if you’re feeling especially unmotivated and lethargic one day, a power nap is often the best remedy.

3. Napping helps your mental health

The physical effects of sleep deprivation can be quite obvious; what’s often less apparent, however, is the damage it can do to our mental health. But the cumulative effect of poor sleep on an ongoing basis can lead to conditions like sleep apnea, insomnia, anxiety and depression. There’s a reason for the saying: “Things will look better in the morning”. Because we all feel better after a bit of sleep.

So if you’re having a particularly bad day, if you’re on the verge of tears and you don’t know why, or if you find that every little thing is making you inexplicably irritable, a little ‘time out’ could be the solution. Take a load off, have a power nap, and you just might wake up to find the glass is half-full, after all.

Note: Make sure you don’t just go napping in any old place. Because if you wake up with a stiff neck and other body aches, it’s likely to put you in an even worse mood! So do it properly. Change into your pjs, during the afternoon or when you get home from work, get into bed and pull the curtains. Enjoy 15-minute power snooze (any longer might make you more groggy) and wake up feeling refreshed.

Now you know the health benefits of taking a nap, it’s time to incorporate one into your day. Notice how you start being less irritable, more motivated, and a healthier, happier person in general. Spread the word about the power of a nap and who knows...we might start living in a healthier, happier world as a result.

Happy napping!


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