OK In Health - Miscellaneous

Is Napping Good for You? - April 2014

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woman napping at work during her lunch

Thinking of taking an afternoon snooze?

Here are four research-based benefits of naps, especially helpful in the workplace.

1. Help you learn new information - sleep helps transport information stored in the hippocampus (where fresh memories are temporarily stored) to the brain's more permanent storage area in the neocortex.

2. Make you more productive - when you are sleep deprived, a 30 minute or shorter nap can help you make up for lost time.

3. Give you a jolt of creativity - when napping, your brain does a kind of "housecleaning".

4. Make you more pleasant to be around - a nap has been found to have the mood elevating powers of coffee.

The Mayo Clinic cites the negatives of taking a nap - sleep inertia (the groggy and disoriented feeling you have after waking up from a nap) and nighttime sleep problems (insomnia or poor sleep quality may worsen these problems for some, and long naps may interfere with nighttime sleep).

The best time to take a nap is generally between 2 and 3 pm for 10 to 30 minutes. You might consider taking naps for new fatigue or unexpected sleepiness, to prepare for times when you need to stay up longer than usual, or as part of a daily routine.




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