Midday Nap: Common Benefits and Mistakes
For some, napping is an outdated habit; And for others, a quick nap is the best way to quickly recharge your batteries. But what does sleep research say about naps? It is believed that some health benefits have been demonstrated. But some typical errors can cancel out the expected relaxation. Chronic fatigue can also indicate sleep disorders or illnesses.
Doctor. Michelle Dreyrup is a Psychologist and sleep disorder specialist at the renowned Cleveland Clinic (USA). In a recent article for the organization, she explains the proven advantages of the “power nap.” The English term basically hides the good old naps away from bedtimes.
Energetic and relaxed by a nap
If you have trouble streaming your favorite series in the evening or sleep poorly, you can expect performance to drop the next day. Many people try to reduce the feeling of tiredness with coffee and similar wake-ups. But according to the psychologist, there is a simple and healthy way to bring new momentum to the day. “Taking a nap can make you feel more energized, alert, and relaxed,” says Dreyrup.
This not only benefits people who suffer from insomnia. Naps can also bring health benefits to others. What do you expect from a power nap?
1. Improve performance
like dr. Drerup explains that taking short naps can reduce fatigue, improve reaction time, and increase alertness. The psychologist cites various studies that showed that after naps, alertness increased, reaction time was faster and logical thinking improved.
2. Improve memory
Taking a nap can also be helpful in learning new skills. Research has already shown that people can remember new tasks better after a short nap. One study showed that people who took an hour-long nap were better able to remember new information than people who took the same period of rest before a test or studied for a test. Of the three groups, those who slept best remembered the information after a week.
3. Reduce frustration and stress
According to Dr. Drerup can also help relieve stress and put you in a bad mood. Research has shown that people are less impulsive after a snooze and are better able to deal with frustrations.
Rules for a perfect afternoon nap
But not all naps are equally effective, warns the expert on sleep disorders. Some naps are more beneficial than others. Doctor. Drerup explains what to pay attention to when napping so you can begin to relax.
Don’t gnaw for too long
Running a nap is better than an afternoon marathon nap, says psychiatrist. Many people who take afternoon naps make it too long. Short naps are the most comfortable. Advise Dr. Dryrup. This is long enough to feel refreshed, but not so long that you go into deeper sleep stages or lose your sleep drive the next night.
If you take long naps, there is a risk that you will feel more tired when you wake up than before. According to a specialist in sleep disorders, this is due to what is known as sleep inactivity. This happens when we wake up during a deep sleep phase.
In addition, taking very long naps can lower sleep pressure, making it more difficult to fall asleep in the evening. Then you fall asleep later and wake up tired the next day – a real treadmill.
Tips for an afternoon nap
Dr. explains. Dryrup. On days when it’s a bit more selectable, a quick nap can be a welcome boost. Plus, it’s normal to feel sluggish in the afternoon. This is due to the natural rhythm of the day. A good time for a short nap is especially when you feel unfocused and unproductive.
What is the best time to take a nap?
You should also avoid short naps shortly before bed. According to a sleep disorder expert, this can lead to a disturbed night’s sleep. “If you’re awake at the usual times, try to avoid naps after 2 or 3 p.m.,” the psychiatrist advises.
However, there is one exception: “If you work shifts, a nap in the evening before the shift begins can help you stay awake,” says Dr. Dryrup. Likewise, taking a nap before a long trip can help ensure that you don’t fall asleep while driving and that you stay focused.
According to the expert, some people are naturally better able to sleep in broad daylight. As people get older, naps are often more beneficial. Dr. explains. Dryrup. So afternoon naps can be especially helpful with older adults.
Constant fatigue can indicate illness
If a person consistently fails to go a full day without a nap, this may be a sign of a health problem. Dr. confirms. Dryrup. In this case, medical advice should be sought. You can find more information about this in the article:Chronic fatigue – causes and treatment(FB)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, clinical guidelines and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.
Diploma Editor (FH) Volker Plasic
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.