Growing up, naps felt like punishment, an excuse for adults to stop pulling out their hair for 20minutes of peace quiet. Mom said, "your behavior is unacceptable, time for a nap!" The tantrums started and down we go. As years passed, we slowly started to appreciate afternoon relaxation, especially in college – planning schedules around a siesta was living the dream.
Problem was, we took naps and all their glory for granted. What we wouldn’t give for a rest right now but where’s the time? Whether you have an endless to-do-list, children of your own or clocking extra hours at the office, a nap is the ultimate wish that rarely comes true. Where’s the genie?
Sleep in general has a variety of benefits from protection against scary things like obesity and heart disease – to simple things like improved memory. Similar to nighttime sleep, napping has benefits of its own. We took 20 minutes to indulge in daytime shut-eye in the office and we found 5 glorious reasons to take a time-out and get your nap on.
Let’s face it, the office won’t stop during your midday snooze. And then there’s the question of where to sleep and avoiding those pillow lines or nap head. But an afternoon siesta might be all you need to improve your work output, especially if you’re sleep-deprived or worn-out – even better than a cup of afternoon coffee. Uber, Zappos and Google are just a few companies that encourage employees to nap on the job. You might be thinking your productivity and work duties would be ruined by grogginess but give it a try next time you have a spare moment in the office. If studies show it you’ll feel a boost with a nap, what are you waiting for?
Georgetown University researchers discovered that after a nap there’s a burst of activity in the brain’s right hemisphere, the side linked to creativity. Another study showed naps of 40 or more minutes allowed sleepers to enter REM (the time when your brain is most active during sleep) and perform better on word problems. Before you play trivia or get crafty, take a nap and the lightbulb might just click on when you wake up.
NASA has found higher amounts of alertness in pilots after a 40 minute nap compared to pilots with no rest. The study also showed that just 10 minutes of a power nap can perk you up.
Think about the last time you were around a toddler who didn’t nap. Not a pretty picture – insert grumpy emoji here. As adults, we tend to keep tiredness to ourselves but being grumpy still doesn’t feel good. Several studies by the National Sleep Foundation have shown naps are a mood booster. Turn that frown upside down and enjoy a quick snooze – you’ll thank us later.
Consider your cat nap as a “mini vacation.” The sheer luxury of escaping for 20 minutes can be a major stress reliever. Sometimes we just need to take a break and have time of our own where we close our eyes and let go of all our stressors. Take a deep breath, exhale and take a moment to daydream with your eyes closed.
Whether you lay your head down on your desk or sneak out to your car on your lunch break, taking the time to get some shut eye midday can have a profound impact on your life.
Our friends at BuzzFeed shared nap hacks everyone needs in their life. Check it out: