Dramatically Increase Learning, Memory, Awareness by Napping
Some say that the key to increasing productivity may not be by managing your time, but your energy. But how do go about enhancing your energy levels? Simple really - taking an afternoon nap! Research now shows that contrary to the traditional way of thinking, napping is not always a sign of laziness but a useful method to improve your productivity for the rest of the day.
Here are five reasons why everyone should take a daily afternoon nap.
In today’s culture, we are always on the move, our switches forever set to ‘on’. Never taking a moment to power down. Doing so leads to tension, frustration, and fatigue. Taking a nap is similar to a hard reset for your laptop. It flushes out all the errors and restarts your mental and physical wellbeing.
Studies show that research subjects who take naps display higher emotional resilience, increased cognitive function, and other benefits. A thirty-minute nap can prevent the daily mental exhaustion that ends up affecting our everyday lives.
Heightening our senses
According to doctors, napping can restore our sensitivity towards sight, hearing, and taste stimuli. Napping has also been shown to enhance our creativity. By taking time away to relax your mind, you are letting new associations develop.
Most people notice a drop in energy levels in the early afternoon, right after lunch. Eyelids start to feel heavy and focusing becomes an uphill battle. The good news is that having a nap can help restore energy levels. According to the National Sleep Foundation taking a short nap of twenty to thirty minutes “helps improve attentiveness and performance without leaving you feeling sleepy or interfering with nighttime sleep.”
Reducing risk of heart disease
Napping can save your life. People who take a midday siesta at least three times a week are less likely to die of heart disease, according to a 2007 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Naps can become an essential weapon in the war against deaths caused by heart diseases.
Boost your productivity
Numerous studies have shown that reduced productivity amongst workers increases in the later hours of a workday. However a 2002 Harvard University study shows that a simple thirty-minute nap increased the performance of workers, even bringing productivity back up to as high as it was in the beginning of the day.
You may ask what about having a cup of coffee instead? Will taking a power nap during office hours have the same effect as drinking a cup of coffee? The answer is no. Napping is much more beneficial than coffee. A cup of your favourite beans may provide a temporary jolt of energy, but has been shown to affect your memory. Thus despite the momentary energy burst, errors in your daily activities are likely to creep in.
Just when you thought getting the tick of approval for your afternoon naps could not get any better, combining a power nap with some dark chocolate is another great way to give yourself a boost during working hours. A study from the University of Nottingham showed that drinking a cocoa drink rich in flavanols – a main ingredient found in dark chocolates, red wine, and green tea - can elevate the blood flow to key areas of your brain for up to two to three hours. The increase in blood flow to the brain supports better performance towards specific tasks and makes you feel more alert. The study even suggests that flavanols can be beneficial in enhancing brain activity for people fighting fatigue, sleep deprivation, and even the effects of aging.
Taking a daily nap does not reduce the importance of sleep. Even with napping, you still need to get a solid eight hours of a sound sleep at night to feel energetic and refreshed all through the day. But when you are feeling the three thirty-itis kick in, a nap might be just what you need.