Naps are often considered unnecessary but there are many
benefits to getting in a little sleep during the day. Here are five reasons why
a nap may be just what the doctor ordered.
1. Naps may help you live longer.
Research shows a regular nap can lower your blood pressure
and cut your chance of having heart attack in later life. One study found that
a 20-minute nap resulted in an average drop in blood pressure of 5mm Hg –
that’s about the same as a low dose of blood pressure medication.
2. Naps help repair a sleep deficit.
Sleep scientists say for the best physical and mental health
we should aim for between seven and nine hours’ sleep every day. Many of us
don’t get anywhere near this, and a build-up of sleep loss over a few days can
affect us physically, mentally and emotionally. Napping can help plug this gap.
3. Naps improve mood, alertness and energy.
A wealth of research has found that even a short nap can
boost your energy and alertness. Other research suggests naps help improve
emotional regulation and increase your ability to tolerate frustration.
4. Naps improve our ability to learn and remember.
Neuroscientists at the National University of Singapore
reported in the journal Sleep that brief dozes revive the hippocampus,
an area of the brain responsible for forming new memories.
5. Naps can lower your stress levels.
A short sleep during the day can help strengthen your
ability to manage stress, says Psychology Today. Recent research shows
that naps reduce stress and strengthen the immune system in people who are