Is Sleeping In The Afternoon Good Or Bad For Your Health?

A lot of experts advocate a nap of about 15 to 20 minutes in the afternoon; longer than that could lead to ‘sleep inertia’ – which is wooziness and sluggishness that is rather difficult to snap out of. Here’s a list of the benefits of an afternoon siesta along with certain features which may be disadvantageous for some.

Benefits Of Sleeping In The Afternoon

  • Boosts memory and alertness: Clinical trials show that when you nap in the afternoon, cognition and vigilance improve significantly. Furthermore, it also makes you more alert and agile.
  • Lowers blood pressure: Napping has been associated with a 37 % diminution in coronary mortality, probably due to decreased cardiovascular stress linked to daytime sleep.
  • Calms you: Cat naps in the afternoon have the potential to calm you.
  • Enhances creativity: Your mind gets that much needed break; and it enhances creative thinking, peps up cognitive processing, and clears out the mental cobwebs.
  • Boosts will power: Everything seems so much tougher and overwhelming when you’re tired, particularly when it comes to matters of will power which is highest in the morning when your brain is rested and fresh. When you are sleep deprived, the brain has a really hard time ignoring distractions and controlling impulses. Experts say that an afternoon nap helps annul the will power drain, tackle stress, pick up your mood, and re-establish focus.
  • Researchers say that whilst longer naps produce some degree of wooziness and grogginess, they also get in good REM sleep during which complex learning and perceptual skills get encouraged.

Disadvantages Of Afternoon Sleep

  • Sleep inertia: For some people, naps can cause sleep inertia, more than ever, if they sleep for more than 20 minutes. You may feel crabby, groggy and disorientated because you have been awakened from a deep sleep. Whilst this phase tends to last for a few minutes to about half an hour, it can be rather harmful to those who need to execute immediately after waking from the nap.
    Sleep inertia is more severe, and may also last longer, in case you are sleep deprived or nap for too long.
  • Afternoon napping can aggravate a case of insomnia. A long nap (more than half an hour) or a nap which is taken too late in the day can negatively affect the length and quality of night time sleep. What’s more, in case you have trouble sleeping at night, a mid day nap will only intensify your problem.
  • Also, a few studies and trials have shown that napping in the afternoon is associated with an increased risk of heart failure in people who are already at risk.

Hence, there are a host of benefits proffered by an afternoon siesta; and if you keep in mind the unfavorable effects and steadily avoid making those mistakes, you can reap wonderful gain from your mid day nap.

Think about ways to slot in afternoon naps in to your everyday routine. Always remember that getting sufficient sleep on a regular basis is the optimal way to staying attentive and feeling your best. When fatigue sets in, a quick nap can pump up your mental as well as physical stamina appreciably.

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