The stigma against napping is finally starting to wane - and for good reason. Taking a timeout to sleep during the day does much more than just give us a quick energy boost. It also confers some serious cognitive and health advantages as well.
Benefits of napping:
- prevents heart attacks
- Improved cognitive performance
- Increased alertness
- Improved memory
- Improved relaxation
- Stress reduction
Even a short 20 minute nap in the afternoon can provide all the benefits of napping. However, the length of your nap will determine what sort of benefits you’re likely to experience. According to the WebMD napping can be broken up into different categories:
20 Minute Nap – While a short 20 minute power nap does enhance memory, it has a more dramatic effect on mental alertness and motor learning skills.
20 To 30 Minute Nap – This length of nap will typically enhance creativity while at the same time also boosting memory.
30 To 60 Minute Nap – This type of nap has an incredibly beneficial impact one’s decision making skills. It also improves the part of your memory that’s responsible for memorizing things such as the alphabet; directions and etc.
60 To 90 Minute Nap – Taking this type of nap will ensure that you get REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, and as such, this type of nap is the most beneficial of them all. Once you reach REM sleep, it’s almost as if the brain resets itself. One could say it’s like starting at the beginning again. Studies have shown that a 60 to 90 minute nap can have a dramatic effect on the brain in terms of problem solving. Here again, NASA has conducted their own studies, and they land up with the same result.