02 Feb Let’s Talk About Napping And What It Means!
Adults who nap, are practicing the “meditate to sleep better” advice! Those that nap, don’t have to face the mind turning into a circus at 3 am! So why is napping so essential?
You may have noticed that (myself included), as you begin the day- your energy levels are high, and as the day unravels, your focus and tendency to move about start degrading, even if you had a good dose of sleep the last night. Our ancestors would have faced a lot worse if they felt this way- they had to run or get eaten! So, how did they have the fight in them to survive harsh environments? They napped!
Anybody who’s got pets will be amazed at how much animals nap! And I think it’s important to learn something from them, especially since we’ve evolved but so has stress.
So whether you are working with deadlines or having guests over- a short nap will add extra “battery life” to your body. You don’t need to feel ashamed or embarrassed about a 15 or 20-minute nap, in the middle of the day if it’s what your 24/7 working body demands!
If you are among those who enjoy this glorious snooze, feel free to continue doing so, even if it is only on weekends- because as it turns out, napping is a normal, completely healthy and integral part of the circadian rhythm.
What is the circadian rhythm? It is often referred to as the “body clock”. The circadian rhythm is a cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, eat–regulating many physiological processes. This internal body clock is affected by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature. When one’s circadian rhythm is disrupted, sleeping and eating patterns can run amok. A growing body of research is examining the adverse health effects a disrupted circadian rhythm can have, like increasing the chances of cardiovascular events, obesity, and a correlation with neurological problems like depression and bipolar disorder.
Other studies also show that children who don’t nap in the afternoon, have higher chances of panic attacks, have less enthusiasm and lower problem solving skills than the children who do nap! No wonder why it’s so important to nap! Adults and kids are still developing, so short naps are essential to increase productivity and awareness. Napping gives your brain a reboot, where the short term memory is cleared out and our brain becomes refreshed with newly renovated space.
How Long Should You Nap For?
According to researchers, the longest naps— lasting about 90 minutes—are recommended for those people who just don’t get enough sleep at night. Since it’s a complete sleep cycle, it can improve emotional memory and creativity.60 minute naps tend to be an excellent memory booster. However, the sleep that isn’t as deep as an hour, is good enough to refresh your mind and increase alertness and energy. 10 to 20 minute naps tend to get you right back at your day immediately after waking up.
I hope this will seriously encourage you to clock in some short snoozes on a daily basis, but remember, napping is not the solution to lying awake at night- waiting for tomorrow’s nap time. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, meditate to sleep better by with our Sleep Pack!
Nehita is a mindfulness expert who writes extensively on lifestyle management, wellness and ways to lead a healthier and a happier life. She is a part of Aware’s expert team on meditation. She is also an avid artist who spends most her time dribbling amazing stories through art.