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How Daytime Naps Battle Stress!

Posted March 16, 2011 in Wellness & Anti-Aging News

Nothing can restore and rejuvinate your mental, emotional, and physical health like sleep can.  With the average sleep duration at an all time low, now almost 2 hours shorter per night than it was 50 years ago.  Sleeping less has been linked to an increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular problems.  If you suffer from a lack of sleep, you may want to consider adding a 25 minute power nap to your day.  Research shows that napping not only keeps you alert throughout the day, but will reduce stress and improve cognitive functioning.

The Effects of Missed Sleep: Sleep is cumulative; if you lose sleep one day, you feel it the next. If you miss adequate sleep several days in a row, you build up a ‘sleep deficit’, which impairs the following:

  • Reaction time
  • Judgment
  • Vision
  • Information processing
  • Short-term memory
  • Performance
  • Motivation
  • Vigilance
  • Patience

Mid-day sleep, or a ‘power nap’, means more patience, less stress, better reaction time, increased learning, more efficiency and better health. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of sleep and how a power nap can help you!

How Long Should I Sleep? When you sleep you pass through different stages of sleep, also refered to as the sleep cycle. These stages include light sleep, deep sleep (during which the body is repaired), and rapid-eye movement sleep, or REM sleep (during which the mind is repaired).Most experts advise to keep the nap between 15 and 30 minutes.  Longer napping will put you into th deeper stages of sleep, from which it’s more difficult to awaken and may leave you feeling groggy.

In conclusion, if you’re not getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night and you find yourself feeling sluggish mid-day; you may want to consider donating 15-30 minutes of your lunch break to nap time.  Not only will it reduce stress and its negative effects, but it will keep you energized and feeling younger!