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The Health Benefits of Napping

Thrive Carolinas / Functional and Integrative Medicine  / The Health Benefits of Napping

The Health Benefits of Napping

“No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.” – Carrie Snow 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults typically need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night in order to function at their very best.  Getting less than 7 to 9 hours for a few nights in a row can have the same effect as staying awake for 24 hours straight.  One way to battle the effects of sleep deprivation is to incorporate daytime napping into your daily schedule.  In fact, the length of the nap and the type of sleep that you get during that nap will help determine its potential health benefits.

Here are the Potential Health Benefits that come with a certain Nap Duration.

  • 10-20 minutes: Reduces sleepiness; improves cognitive performance; increases alertness, attention, and energy levels; improves mood; improves motor performance; reduces stress levels
  • 20-30 minutes: Enhances creativity; sharpens memory
  • 30-60 minutes: Sharpens decision-making skills, including memorization and recall; improves memory preservation
  • 60-90 minutes: Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is critical for problem-solving; helps make new connections in the brain; enhances creativity; reduces negative reactivity; promotes happiness.

Some tips and tricks to help make the most of naptime are to choose a place that is dark, quiet, and comfortable so you can relax.  Limit the amount of noise and light in the room and make sure the temperature in the room is comfortable.  Choose a time that works best for you, and then start making it into a routine each day.  Set an alarm so that you don’t sleep to long.  If you are trying to nap at the office, close the door and hang a sign that says, “will return in 20 minutes.”  One disadvantage that comes from taking naps is sleep inertia or a period of grogginess.

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Content Sourced from the Institute of Functional Medicine

Adair Lentz

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