Insomnia Help Video – When to Nap.

10 Things you need to know about Sleep – Nap or Not to Nap?

For years, napping has been derided as a sign of laziness and weakness. But lately nap has been garnered new respect; thanks to scientific evidence that midday dozing benefits both mental acuity and overall health. Recent studies have shown that naps boost alertness, creativity, mood, and productivity in the later hours of the day.

Napping can be a great way to catch up on sleep, increase productivity and become more creative. Napping puts the body in a relaxed state, which neutralize the effects of daily stress. Studies have shown that napping can actually decrease the risk of dying from heart disease.

There is some controversy in the best way to take a nap because different people might have different nap styles. You can experiment with some of the napping techniques and see what works for you. The best nap is the one in which you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for the shortest amount of time, while still waking refreshed. Napping too long may actually leave you feeling more tired.

Your "chronotype" can help to determine the best time to nap. If you are a lark, wake up as early as 6am and go to sleep around 9pm or 10pm, you are probably going to feel like napping around 1pm or 1.30 pm. If you're an owl, preferring to go to bed after midnight or 1am, and to wake around 8am or 9am, your afternoon "sleep gate" will open later, closer to 2.30pm or 3pm.

A short afternoon catnap of 20 minutes provides mostly Stage 2 sleep, which increases alertness and concentration, elevates mood, and sharpens motor skills. Naps of up to 45 minutes may also include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which enhances creative thinking and boosts sensory processing. A nap of 45 minutes improves alertness for up to 10 hours. Limit your nap to 45 minutes or less, if you need to spring into action after dozing. Otherwise, you may drift into slow-wave sleep. Waking from this stage results in grogginess and disorientation that can lasts for half an hour or more.

Nap Time: Prime nap time is from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., when your energy level dips due to a rise in the hormone melatonin at that time of day.
Not Too Late: Napping within three hours of bedtime may interfere with night time sleep and cause insomnia.
45-Minute Maximum: When taking a nap longer than 45 minutes, you run the risk of heading into deep sleep, which will leave you feeling tired and groggy.

One Harvard study published last year showed that a 45-minute nap improves learning and memory. Napping reduces stress and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke, diabetes, and excessive weight gain.


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