So you may not be a toddler anymore, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy nap time every once in a while like you used to back in the day. Besides being a way to knock out some leftover sleepiness that might be preventing you from tackling your day with maximum energy and efficiency, taking a nap can also provide benefits for your memory, learning ability and other health aspects. Let's take a closer look at some of the positive effects that napping can contribute to your health.
1. It can improve performance and mental focus.
On those days when you feel like your performance at work is slacking, or you just can't shake that out-of-it feeling, taking a power nap may be able to benefit you. The National Sleep Foundation references a study on NASA pilots who, after napping for 40 minutes, demonstrated a dramatic increase in work performance (34 percent) and alertness (100 percent). The next time you're feeling tired at work, taking a quick nap during your lunch break may be able to act as a refresher.
2. It can boost your memory and ability to learn.
It's no shocker that a lack of restful sleep can negatively impact your ability to learn and retain information, which can be detrimental when you're trying to learn a new program at work or study for a big exam at school, for example. However, a new study shows that taking a nap may be able to do wonders for situations similar to these. This study, published in the April 2015 issue of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, measured the memory recall abilities of participants who were allowed to nap for up to 90 minutes before the test and those who were instructed to watch a DVD before the test. The test was comprised of studying the participants' abilities to recall word pairs. The results of the study demonstrated that those who napped for around 45-60 minutes before the recall test performed about five times better than those who did not nap; those who napped showed a higher efficiency in associative memory, which is used to remember connections between unrelated things, like the colored lights on a traffic signal and their meanings, for example. This study suggests that napping can boost certain aspects of your cognitive function.
3. It can reverse certain negative effects of insufficient sleep.
Missing out on a good night's sleep can really impart damage on your mental state, energy levels and overall health. However, napping during the day may be able to reverse the negative effects of insufficient sleep at night, according to a study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). Results of the study showed that taking a 30 minute nap could aid with recovering the immune and neuroendocrine systems by restoring certain hormone levels—related to stress, blood pressure, blood sugar and immune health—to their normal state.
The next time you feel like your lack of sleep has caught up to you, all that you may need to perk you up is a little catnap. However, severe sleeping problems may require a trip to the doctor's office. At eVitamins, we have a wide variety of healthy sleeping supplements and other wellness essentials to help you feel your best every day. Come back next time for more health news!