Why Taking a Nap is a Serious Matter

Why Taking a Nap is a Serious Matter

5 minute read

Most people know that sleep is beneficial for health, but you may not realize that even short bursts of sleep in the form of naps can be helpful. If you’ve ever wondered, “Are naps good for you?” hopefully you will be pleased to know that the answer is a resounding yes, at least according to multiple studies. If you’re feeling tired after a night of poor sleep or just need a little boost to get you through the day, some of the benefits of taking naps include improved mental and physical performance.

The Effects of Naps on Mental Functioning

If you find yourself feeling foggy or just having trouble paying attention throughout the day, an afternoon snooze may help, because it turns out that a short nap can improve mental performance. In fact, a study with medical residents found that a 20-minute nap enhanced attention and performance on tests of cognitive functioning. Study participants who had a nap were more alert and showed improved reaction time when compared to those who did not take a nap. If you want to be mentally sharp, there are certainly benefits of taking a nap.

Naps and Physical Performance

If you are wondering, “Why take a nap?” you may be interested in the relationship between naps and physical performance. In fact, there is evidence that taking a short nap can actually help you perform better after a bout of sleep deprivation. In a 2018 study, military personnel performed lunges and a 3,000 meter run after sustained operations with partial sleep deprivation.

One group of personnel took a 30-minute nap prior to the lunges and running, whereas another group did not nap. The group that napped saw an improvement in the performance of lunges, despite being sleep-deprived. In addition, the group of nappers did not see an impairment in running performance after sleep deprivation, but the group without a nap did. If you have a night of bad sleep and need to demonstrate top physical performance, an afternoon power nap can help. It may even help you get through your evening workout if you are feeling sluggish.

Naps to Recover from Sleep Deprivation

Naps don’t just improve physical performance; they can also help your body to recover from a night of sleep deprivation. A study in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that a night of sleep deprivation had a  negative effect on the immune system, but when people took a nap to recover, this effect was reversed. Taking a nap also reduced sleepiness and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This study supports that the answer to, “Are afternoon naps good for you?” is yes.

Naps for Improved Memory

Among the other benefits of taking a nap is an improvement in memory. In a 2017 study in the journal Sleep, young adults were able to remember more words presented to them after a nap when compared to 90 minutes of wakeful rest. It is noted that this effect was not seen with older adults. Regardless, if you are studying or need to retain important information for work, taking a nap might prepare you to do so.

Are Power Naps Good for You?

In the study in Sleep, participants napped for 90 minutes, which is a rather long daytime nap. This begs the question, “Are power naps good for you?” As it turns out, even a 20-minute nap can improve memory among people who go to bed a little too late the night before. A University of Huddersfield study found that a 20-minute power nap improved memory in those who went to bed after midnight, adding additional evidence that there are benefits of taking naps.  Even if you only have a short window of time to rest, a brief power nap can be helpful.

Using a Weighted Blanket During Naps

There is pretty strong evidence that napping is good for you, but sometimes it can be difficult to settle down for sleep during the day. Between sunlight pouring in the windows and daytime noises outside, you may feel too alert to sleep. This is where a weighted blanket can be beneficial. Research shows that weighed blankets can reduce the activity of the nervous system and have a calming effect, making them the perfect tools for a daytime power nap.

Enjoy an Afternoon Nap with an Aricove Weighted Blanket

If you’re looking for products to help you get the most restful afternoon nap, an Aricove weighted blanket is something to consider. Weighted blanket adult versions come in 10, 15, or 20 pounds, so there is something for everyone. Our white weighted blanket is ideal for napping, as the white hue promotes calmness and tranquility.

We also make our blankets with luxurious twill-woven bamboo, which provides optimal comfort and softness and creates natural moisture-wicking to help you maintain the ideal sleeping temperature. Now that you know the answer to “Are naps good for you?” it is time to choose a weighted blanket to help you get the most out of your nap.

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