August 28, 2006

Noon-time nap

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A nap in the middle of the day is one of life’s pleasures. But many people do without it because of a vague, sneaky feeling of guilt – it seems like an indulgence that is so unproductive. Shove aside those guilt pangs, snatch a half-hour siesta everyday and discover its long-term health benefits. Some reasons to nap:
* Napping at noon is natural. As humans, we naturally operate with a 12-hour cycle superimposed on a 24-hour day. Our body temperature, blood sugar, work efficiency and mood drop after an afternoon meal. So it is natural that our bodies ‘expect’ to take a rest in the post meal period at noon.
* An afternoon nap improves alertness in the later hours. Though everyone feels a little lazy after a nap – this state lasts only for 5-15 minutes. After that, you will almost definitely be left in a better mood and be more alert than if you had not napped. In fact, that extra edge can last for up to 10 hours after you wake up from a nap. Napping is a natural stress-buster. Evidence shows that people who set aside regular midday rest periods generally lead a more relaxed lifestyle and suffer form less hart-threatening stress. A word of caution: Those who are already at high risk for a heart attack should not nap after a heavy, high-fat meal.
How and where should one nap?
A few suggestions for napping:
A short nap is better than a long one
A short nap will leave you refreshed; a too-long nap will leave you tossing and turning with insomnia that night.
Early is better than late
The ideal nap time is between 2 to 3 pm, studies say. Morning naps tend to be too light; evening ones too deep.
A bed is better than a chair
Dozing off on a chair may be more natural, but try to rouse yourself long enough to lie on a bed. Studies show that napping in bed is conducive to much higher quality sleep than napping on a chair. If you are in an office job, then search for some other alternatives. A comfortable recliner, a couch or even the carpeted floor will do. However arrange to be woken at the end of 20 to 30 minutes. Once your body and mind are in tune with this duration of napping, you will wake of your own accord!
Category: Health
See also: For a good-night’s sleep / Water-some health benefits of drinking it / Bad breath (Halitosis) / Weight reduction diet tips / Simple tips for sitting

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10 comments:

  1. Amaranath8:50 AM

    A good power nap lasts for around fifteen to 30 minutes. According to research, taking power naps in the afternoon have more benefits for the body than taking an extra hour of sleep in the morning. The rest that the body gets from power naps greatly reduces stress and improves the cognitive powers of the mind.

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  2. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Rest is an important necessity. Just as one plans nutritious meals with dieting timing is everything. Is best for instance; that you eat a hearty well-balanced breakfast around 7-8 a.m. When taking a nap would be best to do on an empty stomach, not only will you rest better but it is better on your heart.
    If your naps currently now are following your lunch that could be what is contributing to your weight. Also if you find yourself tired after a heavy lunch could be your food choices making you sleepy.
    One way to burn calories would be to have your nap, get up and take a 20 min walk then eat your lunch. The walk following your nap will get you out in the fresh air and wake you up, get your metabolism going and believe it or not curb your appetite. Follow your walk with a healthy lunch, example: tuna salad on whole wheat and cup of soup, or grilled chicken breast and rice pilaf, or small chef salad and small fruit cup,(they are just a few of my favorite choices), also don't forget your water. A minimum of 8 glasses (8 oz) per day.

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  3. Saraswati3:41 PM

    I never take a nap. I believe that a nap is unhealthy and I advise everyone to avoid naps.

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  4. Kausal5:54 PM

    Mid day naps have been scientifically proven to help your metabolism. You wake up more alert and with more energy than if you don't take one. A lot of industrialized countries, like Japan, actually have afternoon naps as part of their workday schedule

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  5. Becky9:30 AM

    I LOVE naps and I read somewhere that they’re actually really beneficial for productivity. But for me personally, I think I don’t get enough sleep at night, which means that if I allow myself to take a nap, I’m going to be passed out for a couple hours, lol ; )

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  6. Anonymous8:33 AM

    Research on napping is constantly showing positive effects. The results suggest that napping can make you more alert, reduce stress and improve cognitive functioning compared to working all day without rest. A mid-afternoon sleep means that productivity can last long into the night. Researchers at NASA showed that a 30-minute power nap increased cognitive functioning by 40%. The volunteers on the tests found that their memory improved as well as experiencing an increase in concentration. Those who didn’t nap would score lower on IQ test than those that did (after a day of work).

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  7. Shravani10:13 AM

    I don't nap at all - I wake up feeling drugged for the rest of the day if I do.

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  8. Prabha10:13 AM

    Sometimes I do - it depends on how much stress I am under and if I have the time.

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  9. do you nap?

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  10. Smita9:29 AM

    No, because it messes up my sleep schedule and keeps me from sleeping at night. I'm an insomniac though.

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