When it comes to napping, there are those who treasure the activity as restorative, and others who eschew it as something for babies and slackers. If you fall into the second camp, these proven health benefits just might change your mind. Die-hard nappers, feel free to list these benefits next time someone teases your midday snooze habit. Turns out, you’re doing it right!
It can boost your alertness.
Stanford University researchers and colleagues found that emergency room clinicians who had an average 25-minute nap had fewer performance lapses, and reported more vigor, less fatigue, and less sleepiness than those who didn’t nap.
It can increase your ability to learn.
Taking a half-hour (or shorter) nap during the day improves performance and learning ability, according to results from a study on healthy adults.
It sharpens your memory.
Want to make sure you remember details from that work seminar, parent-teacher conference, or the stories your grandmother tells you on your next visit? Don’t reach for coffee, take a nap. A 60-90 minute nap improved the verbal memory of study participants more than caffeine, in a study published in Behavioural Brain Research.
It can lower your blood pressure.
Researchers found that university students who napped for at least 45 minutes had lower average blood pressure after psychological stress than those who didn’t snooze. So, relaxing into a nap helps your body relax even after you wake up!
It might help you lose weight.
Not getting enough sleep can trigger your body’s production of the hunger hormone ghrelin, making you hungrier and potentially leading to weight gain, according to a study from Stanford University. The National Sleep Foundation currently recommends adults get 7-9 hours sleep per night. If you find yourself falling short, it can’t hurt to slip in a nap to give your body a rest.