Ah, the glorious nap. Often dreamed about but rarely achieved. More often than not, it shouldn’t just be a dream, but a needed addition to our sleep regiment. Many of us aren’t getting enough sleep at night (the average adult needs seven to nine hours), so a nap helps supplement the hours we miss throughout the night. But that isn’t the only reason to start taking naps. There are plenty of benefits to napping that you should start taking advantage of, some of which include:
- Heightened Alertness
A NASA study found that napping can increase alertness. Whether it is for ten minutes or forty minutes, taking a nap will prepare you for the rest of your day.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
A British study found that taking a nap decreased participants’ blood pressure. In fact, this occurred before they drifted off to sleep. It was the anticipation of a nap that helped calm them.
- Make You More Patience
Research performed at the University of Michigan showed that people who napped were able to focus longer than those who weren’t allowed to nap. Feeling rested could help you keep calm in frustrating situations.
- Inspiration and Creativity
A well-rested mind can achieve great things. If you are able to fall into a deep sleep and reach REM-state, you mind will be more refreshed and ready to take on complex tasks boosting your creativity levels.
- Boosts Your Memory
There has been research that connects napping with our ability to retain information. When we need to remember something, napping can help store that knowledge in a place that will stick with us better than if we go perform another activity (besides napping).
Those are just a few of the benefits we can reap from a nap. But to actually gain these benefits, you must be able to rest in a comfortable spot. It is recommended to rest on a quality mattress or luxury bed. Ideally, being able to lay down on the surface that makes you most comfortable—whether it is a plush mattress or the best gel memory foam one—is where you want to nap. These positive effects of napping are improved when you rest on a quality mattress, no matter what type of napping you are doing. That’s right, there are different types of naps. The four main types of naps are: planned napping, emergency napping, habitual napping, and appetitive napping.
- Planned Napping is when you take a nap before you are tired. Sometimes referred to as preemptive napping, this is a good way to stay refreshed when you know you are going to be up late.
- Emergency Napping occurs when you are so tired you can barely stay awake. Driving while tired is the number one reason people should pull over and take an emergency nap.
- Appetitive Napping refers to the type of napping done by people who love to do it. This is an enjoyment nap, first and foremost. Many people associate this with the afternoon nap.
- Habitual Napping is just like it sounds. This is the act of napping at the same time every day. Experienced nappers find this practice to be extremely helpful.
Though there is no optimal nap time, one of these types of naps can help you recover and feel refreshed to face the rest of your day. If it is possible, remember to sleep on a mattress that is comfortable and relaxing to help stimulate all of the benefits from your power nap. So, nap when you can, when you need to, and when it is the most fun thing to do.