How Regular Napping Can Supercharge Your Life
By Chris Brown
Why is napping important? Isn't it just a procrastination tool for avoiding that stressful work project? Actually, an efficient nap may actually improve the end result of that project. Additionally, regular naps can make you a sharper, happier person overall.
The homeostatic sleep drive that builds sleep pressure throughout the day can be satisfied simply by laying down for a 20-minute nap. With the benefits of enhanced creativity, memory, and mood regulation, there is no reason not to indulge in a midday nap. It just may change your life for the better.
Here are some tips for taking the perfect nap.
Improves Creativity and Learning
Two studies, at Saarland University (Germany) and UC Berkeley, found that naps improve the ability to learn. Specifically, hippocampus-dependent learning was improved, which is important for associations and problem solving. Dreaming during a nap is also known to help with creative thought. Oftentimes, napping on a specific problem can bring unique insights. This could give a statistical advantage in the workplace. Just as one's coworkers' energy wanes during afternoon work, a nap can make you as creative, insightful, and sharp as first thing in the morning.
Cements New Memory Formation
Have a great, but tiring, afternoon adventure? Take a nap to remember it better. Science shows that sleep plays a key role in forming memories. Things experienced shortly before sleep are particularly locked in, which is why studying immediately before bedtime is often recommended. A nap allows one to utilize this function and give the body a period of memory storage midway through a day's experiences. Consistent napping also seems to benefit long-term memory health. A study of almost 3,000 Chinese elderly participants found that those who napped as part of their daily schedule had better word recall (which signifies a healthy memory) than those who did not.
It may not be surprising that people get cranky when tired. But a major role of midday napping can be to reset your mood. In one study, a nap was found to lower stress-related high blood pressure, signifying its impacts on emotionally-related bodily reactions. Interestingly, this mood boosting effect can occur whether or not you end up falling asleep, according to researchers. The act of lying down for a half-hour (without a screen) can scientifically raise your mood.
Many of the benefits of napping, such as mood regulation and a more efficient mind, can be improved by a trip to The Joint Chiropractic. The Joint offers affordable, insurance-free sessions for walk-in patients, with typically little-to-no wait time. And its ability to free spinal restrictions can make your naps even more effective.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Northridge, Calif.