You probably have fond memories of the daily siesta in the kindergarten. You would like to return to those happy days when you were not constantly tired. The good news is that you should take a nap every day. We have all been “programmed” to think that only newborns, children, the elderly and pets are allowed to take a nap. But what about us, adults? We also need a rest during our crazy days.
Napping is quite normal in some Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain and Ecuador. This habit is deeply rooted in their culture. Even if you work in an office, you can go take a nap in your car at the time of the break. The siesta is not a sign of weakness but rather a habit with amazing health benefits.
In today’s society, our bodies and minds are regularly tested. So why not relax a bit with a little snooze?
Here are some benefits of napping and why you should incorporate it into your daily routine
Nap and cognitive function
The daily nap improves your cognitive functions because by lying down you rest your mind. Its benefits are even greater if you had not had enough sleep the night before. It will have a regenerative effect on you. We all know that active sleep increases the memory and learning abilities.
Nap and heart health
The nap can improve your heart health. One study found that those who regularly nap have less risk of suffering from heart problems later because it lowers the blood pressure and heart rate. But for this you need to take a nap at least three days a week for 30 minutes.
Nap and stress
Another benefit of the napping is that it greatly reduces stress and anxiety. When you are sleep deprived, your body secretes cortisol (stress hormone) which generates a sense of nervousness. Some sleep lowers the level of this substance and has an invigorating effect on you.
Nap and weight loss
Researchers at Stanford University have shown that the siesta is an excellent appetite suppressant. They have shown that lack of sleep lowered leptin, the hormone of satiety, and increased that of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger. Often we feel hungry when we lack sleep. So by taking a nap, we avoid falling into this trap.
Also, when you have not slept enough, you begin to look for sources of energy and of course, the best way is to eat. Lack of sleep causes us to eat high-calorie foods, high in sugar and fat, which keep us awake. Napping can therefore combat junk food cravings.
Nap and energy
Finally, thanks to the nap you will be more efficient when you do exercise. Kinda weird? Well no. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will not have enough energy to exercise. While a good nap will recharge your batteries and increase your speed, your performance and efficiency.
4 TIPS FOR GOOD NAPPING
1 – Set the clock
You do not want to sleep soundly but just get some rest. The best is to nap for 20 to 30 minutes. Set your alarm with a song or a relaxing tone to wake you up quietly.
2 – Afternoon nap
You all know the fatigue that comes after lunch. This is quite normal because the body begins the digestion process. Try to make a micro-nap during your lunch break, it will boost you for the rest of the day. If you sleep later, you’ll have trouble falling asleep at night so try to make the nap between noon and 2pm and avoid napping after 4pm.
3 – Choose a comfortable place
Turn off the lights, telephone and air conditioning, wrap yourself in a warm blanket and elevate your head with a pillow. Your nap will be even more enjoyable.
4 – Remember that you need to sleep
Our society is so obsessed with productivity and making money that we tend to neglect our health. Do not exert yourself and take care of your body. Prioritize your sleep and take naps. That does not make you lazy because you are a human who needs rest.
It’s not just children who can nap; everyone should incorporate it in their daily routine.
Take a nap!