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!
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