We already know that sleeping for long hours during the daytime causes weight gain and other health issues. But taking too little a nap may also be just as harmful. How much you sleep predominantly depends on age, daily activity and the need for it.
But too many studies and journals have made it difficult for us to choose whether you should take a nap in the middle of the day or sleep properly at night, once and for all. As compiled from Pinkvilla, here is the difference between nap and sleep.
Nap vs sleep
Taking 10 to 20 minutes of shuteye takes you to the first or second stage of sleep, which is enough to get refreshed and energised. During true sleep, our body has the opportunity to complete all five stages of the sleep cycle a few times, which most healthy adults repeat every 90 to 110 minutes. When we go into a deeper slumber, our brain becomes less responsive to external stimuli which ultimately make us groggy and fatigued.
Benefits of short power naps
A quick power nap has numerous health benefits.
• Improved productivity
Various studies have found that daytime naps ranging from 10 to 30 minutes can increase our productivity at work. It also improves our psychomotor speed, reaction time, alertness, enhanced learning skills and improved focus and memory.
• Lowers blood pressure
New research shows that a midday nap can significantly lower blood pressure. The results of a study presented at the 2019 American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session shows that midday sleep appears to be quite effective in lowering blood pressure levels.
• Improves mood
Napping during the day can improve our mood. Short naps boost energy levels to help us get rid of afternoon fatigue. It is also connected with increased positivity and better tolerance for frustration.
Side effects of daytime sleeping
Daytime naps, if not done within a limit, can affect our health as well. If nap time exceeds 20 minutes then it can cause sleep inertia, which makes you groggy and disoriented. This is a condition after waking awake from a deep sleep. And if you are already sleep-deprived, then the symptoms of sleep inertia can be severe and last longer. Too long or too late a nap also makes it difficult to have a tight sleep at night. And a recent study showed that daytime sleep exceeding 60 minutes can increase the risk of heart diseases.
Duration for a power nap
Power naps should be done for 10 to 20 minutes to feel refreshed and energised. But they should not be more than 30 minutes otherwise, it will make you feel sluggish, groggy and more tired than before.
Best time for a power nap
Nap time totally depends on the individual’s sleep schedule and age. But for most of us, the afternoon is the best time for a power nap. But napping after 3 PM can disturb your nighttime sleep.
Have something to add to the story? Share in the comments below.