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Planned naps at home or work will improve your mood, enhance your performance, and increase your sex drive. These are some of the benefits of taking naps and why you should make them part of your daily routine.

Napping

Contrary to popular perception, research shows that daytime naps aren’t reserved for the lazy or depressed.

In fact, besides 0-5’s, who typically sleep after lunch to recharge as part of their daily nursery routine, there have been a number of famous adults who’ve benefited from napping too!

Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Sylvester Stallone, and John F. Kennedy, each successfully effective in their own right, all advocated napping and made them part of their daily schedule.

Guilt free corporate napping

In response to the increased productivity and improvement to morale that napping provides, corporate giants like Nike, Time Warner, and Newsweek, all provide quiet rooms where workers can rest undisturbed for short periods.

Going a step further, Internet mogul Google, has sleep pods around its Mountain View complex where workers can experience restful napping haven.

If you have any sense of guilt associated with the idea of sleeping during your busy working day, knowing that some of the worlds leading companies endorse daytime naps, should help.

The benefits of taking naps

Having a nap, improves your effectiveness.

According to Microbiologist Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School, sleep loss has a crippling effect on thinking, attention, memory, reasoning, and mood.

The risks related to lack of sleep are potentially lethal. Disasters including the Exxon Valdez and the Challenger Space Shuttle accident were both, in part, attributed to sleep deprivation.

Dr. John Medina says,

“Ever feel tired in the afternoon? That’s because your brain really wants to take a nap. There’s a battle raging in your head between two armies.

Each army is made of legions of brain cells and bio-chemicals – one desperately trying to keep you awake, the other desperately trying to force you to sleep.

Around 3pm., 12 hours after the midpoint of your sleep, all your brain wants to do is nap.”

In view of this, here are three reasons to make napping part of your daily routine and how they will improve your life.

#1. Taking naps improves your performance

Research conducted by NASA on one thousand volunteers; found that 30 minute naps increased cognition functioning by up to 40%, and that those who worked without rest gained lower scores in intelligence tests.

Similarly, tests carried out on strategic napping among air traffic controllers in New Zealand, showed improved alertness and performance in those who had scheduled 40 minute naps.

Whether comfortable with the idea of napping at work or not, evidence shows that the advantages of a short snooze in your schedule, far outweigh the costs of increased errors resulting from lack of focus and fatigue.

#2. Taking naps improves your health

Your body will become tired throughout the day — this is normal. Commonly, when this happens, people drink caffeine or intake sugar to boost energy and increase alertness. However, use of stimulants, disrupts your body’s natural rhythm and boosts the likelihood of weight gain.

Conversely, daytime naps compliment your body’s sleep cycle, without the health risks associated with extra calories.

To maintain optimum health and protect your heart, a short nap is a better use of time than consuming caffeine, biscuits and sugary foods — often common office practice.

#3. Taking naps improves your mood

Your body needs 7-8 hours of sleep for you to function at your best.

Unsurprisingly, sleep deprivation impairs your motivation, tolerance and patience — having insufficient sleep can result in you not being the friendliest person to be around.

Increasing your rest with daytime naps will positively impact your relationships with friends, family and co-workers. Added rest will enhance your sense of well-being, giving you more capacity to interact graciously with others.

Other benefits of napping

  • Increased libido
  • Better creativity
  • Enhanced metabolism
  • Increased alertness
  • Relief for migraines
  • Enhanced night-time sleep
  • Accelerated ability to perform motor tasks
  • Improved judgement and decision-making

Tips for nap taking

Keep it short — Taking naps for anywhere between 10-30 minutes will give you a suitable recharge without leaving you feeling groggy.

Get comfortable — Taking naps in low light is most ideal. Your body temperature will fall, so adjust the thermostat or use a blanket.

Be consistent — Taking naps at a regular time of day will help maintain your body’s natural sleep cycle. The ideal nap zone is between 1.30-3.30pm.

Use the toilet — Taking a nap on a full bladder could prove embarrassing!

Practice — Taking naps will at first feel like a chore, but as with anything, practice makes discipline.

Over to you…

Have you ever taken daytime naps, and if so, how have they affected you? How does the idea of taking daytime naps make you feel?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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