The Benefits to Taking a Short Nap During the Day

NapsAdvantages of short day naps include improved alertness and optimal performance.

A short nap, from 10 to 30 minutes, can cure the afternoon yawns, make you more alert and cut down on impulsive behaviors. However, as the National Sleep Foundation points out, daytime napping stigmas say that the napping exemplifies a lack of ambition and a lack of standards, and should be practiced only by children, elderly people and sick people. In reality, daytime napping is a smart move for many people and more effective than caffeine. Pilots have practiced it for a long time. Here are some of the benefits they and other daytime nappers realize.

Benefits of Short Naps

Short-term alertness and performance: Napping for 20 to 30 minutes makes you sharper without any tinge of grogginess, and it doesn?t affect your ability to fall asleep at night. A NASA study on astronauts and military pilots found a 100 percent increase in alertness after a 40-minute nap and a 34 percent performance boost.

More balanced emotions: If you nap, you?re less cranky. You?ll get along better with others, be slower to lash out, and be happier.

Relaxation: Napping gives you a quick break from the world?its stresses, its chaotic ways. Close your eyes, relax, and let your worries drift away.

What all of the above means: You?ll recharge your batteries, be awake for your meetings, fire on all mental cylinders, and drive home fine from work or the kids? soccer practice. You won’t deal with the fatigue that slows your reaction times and ability to keep up at work.

Tips to Maximize Naps

Find the length that works for you. For example, research in the journal Sleep indicates that napping more than 30 minutes leads to grogginess and points to 10 minutes as more ideal. However, it does vary from person to person.?

Ensure your napping environment is comfortable. Pay attention to temperature, noise and light.