We all know the feeling – you wake up full of energy but by the time that mid-afternoon slump hits and the opportunity to catch 40 winks arises, you feel guilty for heading back to bed.
Whether it’s the mountain of paperwork or household chores all too often we decide to power on through rather than giving in to a delightful siesta like they often do on the continent.
But if we told you there were plenty of research based reasons to take a nap perhaps you’d change your mind.
A NASA study found that pilots who napped for 40 minutes were more alert and another study showed that after just ten minutes of sleep participants felt more awake. So if you’re feeling your focus slipping try taking a break and shutting your eyes – even for a short amount of time – because you should wake up feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Well this is a turn out for the books. Apparently even thinking about taking a nap can benefit your body. A British study showed that in the minutes before their participants drifted off their blood pressure dropped. This didn’t happen when people just took a rest for an hour suggesting there is something magical about those pre-sleep moments.
Research in the Archives of Internal Medicine looked at health records of 23,681 people in Greece and found those who napped at least three times a week for 30 minutes or more had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, compared with people who didn’t nap.
You don’t even have to actually fall asleep to reap some restful rewards. A 2007 study found that just by lying down quietly for 10 minutes can improve mood whether the person fell asleep or not.
If you have a frustrating task ahead of you, you might find it easier to tackle if you have a sleep beforehand. According to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan taking a nap can increase your patience.
They asked participants to complete a frustrating task of drawing geometric designs on a computer screen. The people who took a 60 minute nap before the task drew for 90 seconds while those who watched TV instead quit after half that amount of time.