Health Benefits of Napping
Napping or daytime napping is a term that defines the sleep of the day. Taking a short sleep in the mid of the day is napping. It is besides the routine nocturnal sleep. Studies suggest that napping has many health benefits. From the Islamic perspective, napping is a Prophetic Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, God bless and cherish him. Science is unraveling the wonders of daytime napping yet. Every study proves its health benefits. This short article is also about the health benefits of napping. After reading the article, you will be able to decide whether you should take a nap or not.
Benefits of Napping
The following are some benefits of the daytime nap according to scientific research;
- Reduction in sleepiness
- Improvement in learning
- Regulation of emotions
- Improvement in the memory formation
- Enhancement of cognitive performance
- Increase in alertness and mindfulness
- Mitigation in fatigue
- Elevation of mood
The Best Way to Take a Nap
Naps should be shorter. Longer naps are of no benefit to anyone. After longer naps, you may feel groggy. Sometimes, longer naps backfire and increases to your misery. Therefore, naps should be of 15-20 minutes. Naps are just like a short break between the hectic daily routine.
Longer naps disturb your homeostatic sleep drive. This drive is like hunger and thirst. Sleep drive is a pressure that you feel before going to sleep. It is when you feel that you should sleep now. It is evident from studies that longer naps disturb sleep drive and causes sleeplessness at night that is not good at all. In the same way, napping after 3 pm can disrupt your sleep cycle .thereby, affecting your night sleep. Hence, naps at midday are better. You can read more about homeostatic sleep drive at Homeostatic sleep drive
How napping increases alertness?
Natural sleep is the minimum in the morning when you wake up but increases over the day and reaches its peak threshold at night. A gradual increase in the sleep drive over the day makes you dull and fatigued with the load of work. Napping modulates that sleep drive when you sleep for a shorter period. With a reduction in the sleep drive, you feel more comfortable and mindful.
How napping reduces fatigue?
When you keep on working for hours without rest either physically or mentally, you feel fatigued. Fatigue is a state of the body and mind when you do not feel motivated to work more. A sense of weariness and irritability replaces the sense of accomplishment. Napping reduces fatigue by giving you a short period of relaxation. When you sleep, repairing mechanisms of the body become active. A short sleeping period during the day provides the brain and body that necessary break to relax.
How napping improves memory and learning?
When the mind and body are relaxed, they can better perform their functions. Mindfulness and alertness help you remember things better. When irritability diminishes, the brain increases the amounts of serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin has a role in memory formation that is also known as memory consolidation. Dopamine elevates your mood and gives you motivation and a sense of accomplishment.
I have tried to sum up some benefits of daytime napping that are reported in the scientific literature. Taking a nap depends on your priorities and work routine. For example, some people only feel comfortable in their beds and find it difficult to sleep elsewhere. Whenever you think of taking a nap, keep it short to fully harness its benefits.