Sara C. Mednich, PhD, a sleep expert and an author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life stated that daytime naps may just be the perfect solution if you happen to be sleep-deprived! More than 85% of mammalian species are polyphasic sleepers (sleep for short periods throughout the day), but human, happens to be the minority of mammalian species who are monophasic sleepers (sleep for just one time period of the day and the rest of the day is for wakefulness).
The fact that human only sleep for one period of time per day, if there’s a condition where the human is lacking of sleep, then the wakefulness period of the human might be facing some troubles. Napping, just as stated on the first sentence in this article, might just be the solution of it. There are some types of nap according to its length which can give you different outcomes.
Types of Nap According to Length:
- 20 minutes power nap
It can also be called as stage 2 nap. This length of nap is good for alertness as well as motor learning skills such as playing the piano, typing, and many other practical activities.
- 30-60 minutes nap
Also known as slow-wave sleep, this nap is said to be good for decision-making skills as well as memorizing things like recalling directions and vocabulary.
- 60-90 minutes nap
This type of nap is also known as rapid eye movement or REM sleep. It holds a fundamental role to solve creative problems and make new connections up in the brain.
There are also types of nap in three different ways:
- Habitual Nap
When a person takes a nap every day at the same time, it means they are doing the habitual nap. The type of person that is used to this type of nap is usually children who falls asleep at about the same time every afternoon.
- Emergency Nap
You may find yourself taking an emergency nap when you are too tired and can’t continue the activities you are doing anymore. This nap is usually practiced to avoid fatigue or sleepiness while using dangerous machinery or driving vehicles.
- Planned/Preparatory Nap
It is called preparatory because it means taking a nap before you actually feel sleepy. This technique is usually used when you want to avoid getting tired earlier or when you will stay up for a longer time than the usual.
Now that we have learned about some types of nap, this article will discuss further about the benefits of a twenty minutes power nap. Besides napping, there are also some health benefits of sleeping:
The benefits are:
- Treat Narcolepsy
Those who suffers from narcolepsy is suggested to get scheduled napping. Narcolepsy is one of the causes of sleepy in the morning.
- Psychological Benefits
A 20 minutes power nap can give your body enough rejuvenation and relaxation to help it work even better once you wake up.
- Memory and Learning Improvement
Experts found that one of the benefits of a twenty minutes power nap is that it can boost your alertness, thus enhancing the learning ability as well as making your eyes wide open, totally awake.
- Improves Heart Health
Dr. Manolis Kallistrato found that midday sleepers happen to experience decreased blood pressure, thus causing less damage in the heart and arteries, unlike high blood pressure. Uniquely, it is found that even just an expectation of having a nap is enough to decrease the blood pressure. There are also some benefits of garlic for your healthy heart.
- Good Mood
Science shows that a regular nap can reduce confusion and frustration because it will increase reaction time and coordination in adults. With that being said, one of the benefits of a twenty minutes power nap is then that it can improve the cognitive and mental health which can resulted in good mood.
- Prevents Cell Damage
When we suffer from sleep deprivation, not only that we will become agitated and lose focus, it turns out that it can also affect the cellular level. Some researchers found that sleep deprivation can damage cells, especially on cells in small intestine, liver, and lungs. This condition thus can lead to other diseases. However, not to worry. If you consider yourself is sleep-deprived, then just take enough sleep to recover the damaged cells.
Now that you have learned about the benefits of a twenty minutes power nap, here are some tips you may need to get a good nap:
- Consistent is the Key
Keep a regular nap schedule for yourself and stick with it. A prime time for nap is between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., right in the middle of the day.
- Don’t Press the Snooze Button
You’ll probably need an alarm to buzz you off when it’s exactly 20 minutes. When it happens, do not press the snooze button to allow yourself to sleep more. The longer you sleep will just make you wake up groggy.
- Turn Off the Light and Bundle Up
Take a nap in a dark room, if impossible then you can also wear an eye mask. This is done to block out the lights and get you fall asleep easier. Warmth from yourself bundling up will also make you fall asleep easier since dropped body temperature is a big help in sleeping.
But, just like many other good things, besides of the benefits of a twenty minutes power nap, there are some things that you should take note of.
- Sleep Inertia
This condition can happen when you sleep for longer than 10-20 minutes. It is a condition where you feel disoriented and groggy after you wake up. This condition can last from just some minutes to a good half an hour. Sleep inertia may be especially bad to those of you who needs to get right back to work after waking up. This can happen worse on people who doesn’t get enough sleep in the first place or nap for way too long.
- Heart Failure
A study also found that nap happens to be associated with increasing risk of heart failure in people who already have heart failure risk. Therefore, if you have any history with heart problems, then you should just pass the benefits of a twenty minutes power nap. You can also learn about the benefits of honey for heart disease.
- Messy Sleeping Period
A nap that is too long or done too late may cause you some troubles to fall asleep at night. That is why napping at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. time-span is highly recommended.
- Increased Mortality
Taking a nap for more than 30 minutes has also been associated with increased mortality. Although there may not be any official research conducted yet regarding this, it is always better safe than sorry.
These are all the things about health benefits of a twenty minutes power nap that you should know. We’ll see you again on other articles about other types of napping. Have a good nap!