That is the question
Brance was working from home yesterday because of the blizzard, so I got to do something I don’t usually do. I took a nap! I can’t even tell you how amazing it felt. I haven’t been getting enough sleep (for me) in the past week or so and I came off caffeine because of some health-related issues it has been causing me. I have been kind of dragging the last couple of days without my mid-afternoon cup of tea or dark, DARK chocolate (oh how I miss you both!!!).
After I woke up feeling like a new person from my afternoon nap, I was curious to know if it was HEALTHY to take naps. I vaguely remembered reading a news article that linked napping to a higher mortality rate. If that is true of all napping, napping isn’t something I want to work into my regular schedule (not that it really is an option for me right now anyway :). Still, I wanted to know.
As I did a bit of research, here are some of the things I discovered about napping
Millions of people all over the globe take naps during the day and it’s not just babies, toddlers, and the elderly. People of all age groups, of all times, have seen an advantage to indulging in an afternoon siesta. Including many famous historical figures like: Thomas Edison, Leonardo DaVinci, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan!
Studies now find that those people may be on to something. There actually are benefits that come from taking a nap that lasts less than thirty minutes.
Some of the perks from taking a catnap (10-30 minutes) include…
- Increased wakefulness
- Enhanced performance
- Improved learning ability
- Increased memory
- Improved mood
- Increased reaction time
Not to nap
But before you pack your sleep mask and earplugs in your briefcase, for an afternoon snooze at work or at the park, I should warn you that the news article I mentioned remembering earlier, actually did exist.
Research shows that being in a habit of taking long naps could increase morbidity and mortality, especially among the elderly. Whether or not there is a cause and effect relationship, we have yet to discover. Although, researchers believe there is the possibility that people who feel the need to take frequent, long naps have underlying health issues.
I think I’ll keep napping
Well, I don’t actually have the luxury of taking daily naps. But, based on how I felt yesterday afternoon, pretty darn amazing, and the proven benefits of taking short naps, I am certainly not opposed to working one in when I can. For now, it looks like my napping will take place on weekends or during blizzards!