(IMAGE FROM: madamenoire)
(huffpost)-Today is National Napping Day, an unofficial holiday to ‘recognize’ the extra sluggishness oftentimes felt after turning the clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time.
Sleep in general has a wide range of health benefits, from protection against heart disease and obesity to stronger bones and memory. But napping has some specific perks as well.
Here are four healthy reasons to make taking a nap part of your daily regime. Even as little as 20 minutes of sleep during the daytime hours can make a world of difference.
Once you blink away those first few seconds of grogginess after a nap, you're likely to benefit from a boost of alertness. Even just 20 minutes has been shown to perk up shift workers, according to Harvard Men's Health Watch. A smaller study found that even after just a 10-minute nap, study participants reported at least feeling more alert.
Improves Learning And Memory
Fitting an hour, or even 90 minutes of quick sleep into your day may help eliminate your mental fatigue. According to a 2010 Australian study a longer nap is likely to leave you more groggy, but can have a longer benefit to brain power afterwards. In fact, fMRI scans have shown that brain activity remains higher even longer in people who take a nap during the day compared to people who don't, according to a 2008 study.
Experts agree that an afternoon nap is in fact the opposite of laziness in the workplace: in fact, it can actually improve work output, maybe even more so than an afternoon cup of coffee, Prevention reported.
Napping Lifts Your Spirits
Sleepiness and the associated crankiness is not a good feeling for anyone. A quick nap is a well-documented mood booster, not that you needed any scientific research to tell you so.
To learn about some creative ways to make napping a part of your regular schedule, click Here.