Is napping good for you? In a word, yes. A 15- to 90-minute nap taken at the right time of day can have a very positive effect on your health. Research shows that napping offers relaxation benefits, reduces fatigue, increases cognitive function (including better recall and alertness) and can even improve mood. With stress, burnout, exhaustion and anxiety at an all-time high for many, extra rest certainly has a place on your to-do list. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to deciding whether a napping habit is right for you.
First off, who are naps good for? Generally speaking, anyone can benefit from a single nap or by building a regular nap routine into their schedule. Normal sleepers who find themselves struggling to get enough hours of regular sleep each night will feel the positive effects of napping immediately. Naps can also help one prepare for a busy week or long work shift ahead. Not everyone finds it easy to fall asleep during the day, so setting the stage by choosing a cool, dark room in which to rest will help. Adding a sleep mask and a cozy blanket will further enhance your dozing vibe.
It is generally a good idea to keep naps on the shorter side to avoid any potential feelings of grogginess that can accompany longer daytime sleep sessions. Additionally, to avoid interrupting nighttime sleep patterns, aim to get naps in before 3pm. One other factor to consider is whether or not you are getting enough physical activity each day. When in generally good health, folks who get less daily exercise than they need may struggle to sleep well at night. If it feels good for your body, schedule time for physical movement and a period of rest each day.
In the event an increased need for naps without any obvious reason for fatigue occurs, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. Rule out any underlying medical conditions that might need attention, then get back under the covers for a good snooze.
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