Tuesday, July 9, 2019

One-third of American Adults Take Naps -- And I'm Not One of Them!

According to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, one-third of American adults take naps. Men take naps more often than women, and napping becomes more common with age. Forty-one percent of men over the age of 50 say that they've taken a nap in the past day, compared to 28 percent of women in the same age category.

Sleep experts say that naps make for a better, more functional worker. Also, studies have reported that naps reduce sleepiness while improving cognitive functioning, psychomotor performance, short-term memory and mood. So, overall the idea of napping sounds pretty good. However, I don't nap. I just get a good night's sleep and go about my day. If you really feel that napping is something that you need, you'll have to understand the degrees of napping.

Power Nap: 10 to 20 minutes
Most sleep experts agree that if you want to have a quick increase of alertness and/or decrease fatigue, take a 10- to 20-minute nap.

Grogginess Nap: 30 minutes
Some studies have shown that when you take a longer nap, the effects of sleep inertia begin settling in after you wake up. This is the brief period of grogginess you feel when you first wake up in the morning. Your body is still in a state of rest and parts of your brain are not fully awake yet.

Short-term Nap: 60 minutes
It's understood that somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes we start to encounter the beginning of our deep sleep cycle. This is when our brain waves begin slowing down and we experience benefits such as remembering facts, remembering places you’ve been, and remembering names and faces. The downside to a short-term nap is that the moment you begin waking up, you will feel minor effects of grogginess.

REM Nap: 90 minutes
REM is rapid eye movement. This when you have reached your full sleeping cycle and dream. A 90-minute nap has been said to improve creativity and emotional and procedural memory (such as learning a new skill). In my opinion, if you need a nap this long you are not getting enough sleep at night!

Experts say the ideal time of day for a person to fit a nap in is generally between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Napping later than that could interfere with your night schedule. Also, if you find yourself dreaming while you are napping during the day, this may mean you are sleep deprived and will need to re-adjust your sleep schedule so you can get adequate rest at night.

Here's an idea... try going to bed a little earlier and getting enough rest at night, along with proper nutrition during the daytime. The result will likely be that you won't need a nap.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso