I recently read an amazing book, Take a Nap! Change your life. by Sara C. Mednick, PhD with Mark Ehrman. The author, Dr. Sara Mednick, a Harvard-trained research scientist, did extensive research on napping which changed her from skeptic to evangelist. In her book, she provides the data as well as the benefits and maps out a scientifically based program that teaches how to plan the perfect nap based on your schedule and needs. I was so impressed with this information that I wanted to share it with you. When Rise opens we will be offering a Wellness class about the benefits of napping and will sell copies of the book. We will also have our napping room available for reservation so you can try it out.
20 Benefits of Napping During the Day
Summarized from the brilliant Take a Nap! Change Your Life!
1 Increase your alertness. NASA studies have conclusively demonstrated that alertness increases by as much as 100 percent after a brief nap, even in well-rested subjects.
2 Speed up your motor performance. A Harvard study showed that the speed of a learned motor performance is the same in nappers as in those who have had a full night of sleep.
3 Improve your accuracy. Making mistakes costs time, money, energy and sometimes even peoples' lives. While greater speed usually involves sacrificing accuracy, napping offers a valuable exemption from this general rule. So no matter whether you're during coffee, giving a presentation or crunching numbers, napping helps you get it right.
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4 Make better decisions. Studies show pilots who are able to nap in the cockpit make fewer judgement errors in takeoffs and landings than those who aren't.
5 Improve your perception. We depend upon our senses. Research shows that a nap can be as effective as night of sleep in improvement of perceptual skills.
6 Fatten your bottom line. Fatigue related accidents cost US industry hundreds of millions per year. Businesses that allow their employees to nap have shown decreases in errors and increases in productivity. Worker’s comp costs are highest where employees report the most fatigue and claims at facilities that ban napping are 4 times higher than those that allow it.
7 Preserve your youthful looks. Get your beauty sleep! Napping assists in tissue and skin regeneration and keeps you younger looking.
8 Improve your sex life. Sleep deprivation destroys sex drive and sexual function. Napping reverses those effects.
9 Lose weight. It just makes sense, when we are sleepy we reach for high-fat, sugar-rich foods more than when we are rested. So nap now and resist the break room desserts. You'll also produce more growth hormones that reduce body fat.
10 Reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Studies conclusively show that fatigue contributes to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia and other cardiovascular disorders even in otherwise physically fit subjects. Napping can help you live a longer, healthier life.
11 Reduce your risk of diabetes. Sleep deprivation increases insulin and cortisol levels which can raise the risk for type 2 diabetes, the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Napping after meals assists with sugar processing.
12 Improve your stamina. A nap during or after work allows you to be as alert and ready for the second part of your day as if it were a brand-new day. Yep & Wow.
13 Elevate your mood. Sleep deprivation causes anger, irritability, and depression. Thankfully napping bathes your brain in serotonin, reversing those effects and creating a more positive outlook.
14 Boost your creativity. Did you know some of history's great artists and inventors were nappers! Napping allows your brain to create the loose associations necessary for creative insight and opens the way for a fresh burst of new ideas.
15 Reduce Stress. Stress and anxiety are the result of cortisol being produced in the adrenal glands. By releasing the antidote, growth hormone, a nap can reduce that stress and anxiety and make you a calmer person.
16 Help your memory. Much of your memory consolidation cannot occur in any meaningful way without sleep. Napping improves learning!
17 Reduce dependence on drugs/alcohol. Deprive yourself of sleep and you’re more likely to abuse not only caffeine but alcohol and other drugs. A recent study in Denmark showed that people who complain of exhaustion are more likely to abuse drugs. Say yes to a nap and no to stimulants and sleep aids.
18 Alleviate migraines, ulcers and other problems with psychological components. Cortisol is involved in all these aliments. By reintroducing growth hormones, napping can reduce their severity. Many doctors recommend a cold compress and nap for migraines.
19 Improve the ease and quality of your nocturnal sleep. Sleeping during the day helps you sleep better at night. When one becomes "overtired" it can turn into "wired" and inhibit falling asleep. Doctors have begun using structured napping programs to treat sleep related syndromes such as narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness.
20 It feels good. So there isn't scientific data on this...but millions of nappers cant be wrong!