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How Napping Can Help Your Mental Health

By Brandi Swieter 

Most people realize that taking a short nap can give them back some of the energy they need. Individuals who tend to feel tired in the middle of the day often choose to take a nap so they can tackle the rest of the day a bit easier. Naps are meant for much more than just boosting energy. Napping can actually help your health in several ways, making it imperative that people take advantage of them more often.

A 20-Minute Nap Promotes Alertness

Known as a power nap, sleeping for just 20 minutes can create a feeling of alertness. A person who sleeps for a short time like this never enters REM sleep. They are more likely to get up and go without feeling groggy or still tired. 

A 60-Minute Nap Improves Memory

Getting a full hour of rest can help people remember facts. Sleep for 60 minutes and you’re more likely to remember names and faces and other facts upon waking. This nap length gives a boost in memory due to the deep sleep it brings without going into a full REM cycle. Some people do wake up feeling groggy after sleeping this long, but the effects tend to wear off quickly.

A 90-Minute Nap Sparks Creativity

Ninety minutes of sleep allow a person to enter the REM cycle. It’s possible to dream during this amount of nap time. Upon waking, many people tend to feel more creative and ready to take on anything. A 90-minute nap improves emotional and procedural memories and boosts creativity levels. This tends to boost mood as well.

Naps Ease Stress

No matter the length of the nap, getting any sort of sleep is often helpful in easing stress. Those who feel tense or worried should try taking a nap in an effort to lessen their anxieties and quiet their minds. A 20-minute nap may not help as much with this, but sleeping for at least an hour sure will. Sticking to a napping schedule can also prove beneficial, as people come to know when to expect a quiet time to relax. This can ease stressful feelings already without any sleep being done.

Napping helps with health in a number of ways. It increases energy while also improving mental awareness and memory.

Anyone feeling fatigued should take a nap to help their overall health and well-being. Twenty, 60 and 90-minute options offer the best solutions, as any time intervals less, more, or between those amounts tend to result in extreme grogginess or even moodiness upon waking.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arnold, Mo.

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