I used to take terrible naps. I always had the greatest intentions of catching that perfect 20 minute cat nap, and then found myself awaking in a grumpy daze two hours later, having wasted most of the afternoon. So I gave up on it for awhile. Then I became a mom, and then I became a working mom, and naps crept back into my life.
It turns out my two-year-old has a pretty low tolerance for letting me sleep during the day, so two hour naps are no longer a problem. I’m getting better at quick afternoon naps, and I find they’re actually making a difference. I might need a nap every day just as much as my daughter does. And surprise! There are actually quite a few awesome reasons we should all be napping more. Here’s a few to help you justify an afternoon snooze.
We all hit that wall in the afternoon, right? Your mind starts to wander, your focus starts slipping, and sleepiness sets in. One quick nap can leave you feeling refreshed, refocused, and ready to get back to rocking your day.
Life gets busy, and with the ease of technology, most of us aren’t taking proper mental breaks throughout the day. No, scrolling through your Facebook feed doesn’t count. A nap might be the only real tech-free time you take in the day. Plus, it acts as your body’s own system reboot, helping to reduce stress and frustration.
Boosts your productivity
The less energy I have, the less productive I am. It’s pretty simple. I can generally get through a task faster and more efficiently if I’m performing it well-rested. When I come back to work after a nap, it’s like I’ve managed to restore the energy I had at the beginning of the day.
Heightens your creativity
Studies suggest that taking a nap that puts you into REM – the deep sleep state where you dream – can give a serious boost to your creativity. And if science says I should take a nap, I’m not going to argue.
May prevent heart disease
There’s a lot of research behind this one. One study in particular found that of 23,000 adults who take midday naps, were over 30 percent less likely to die of heart disease. Once again – science!
So, find a cozy and quiet spot, and get napping! Your mind and body will thank you.