The nap under the magnifying glass: is it used to recover energy or does it cause insomnia?

The nap under the magnifying glass: is it used to recover energy or does it cause insomnia?

A restorative nap should last between 20 and 25 minutes to avoid falling into a deep sleep and feeling disoriented when you wake up (Getty)

The nap is a subject that often divides sleep specialists. Many oppose it, except on rare occasions, and others, on the contrary, consider it favorable to take a short nap during the day, provided you follow certain recommendations.

Those who recommend the nap point to its potential health benefits:It can be a great tool for improving afternoon alertness and productivity.“, mentioned Rebecca Robbins, sleep expert and professor at Harvard University School of Medicine. The specialist also pointed out that previous research has found that napping can even increase short- and medium-term memory.

The key is to set the alarm and get up when it rings: a restorative nap should last between 20 and 25 minutes to avoid falling into a deep sleep and feeling disoriented when you wake up. Also, a longer period can affect how we sleep at night.

However, the advice regarding nap duration is not rigid. For some people, on the occasional day when they are totally tired and fatigued, a longer nap is a good catch-up remedy. “If someone accumulates several days of lack of sleep at night, or has had a night where for some reason they could not fall asleep and the rest was very short, in these cases a 90 minute nap can be recommended“, underlined the expert in dream of Harvard to American Health and Wellness Magazine Royal Bachelor.

It is advisable to take a siesta in the early afternoon.  after 3 p.m. may interfere with nighttime sleep (Getty)

It is advisable to take a siesta in the early afternoon. after 3 p.m. may interfere with nighttime sleep (Getty)

Other advantages are that in addition to reduce stress levels during the day, take a nap strengthens the immune and cardiovascular system. A Swiss scientific study published in the scientific journal Heartrevealed that taking a moderate nap once or twice a week reduces the risk of heart attack.

Researchers followed 3,462 participants over 5 years no history of cardiovascular disease, 35 to 75 years old. They were asked if, in the past week, they had taken a nap, and if so, how often and how long each time. In conclusion, the scientists detected a lower cardiovascular risk in the group of participants who took a nap once or twice a week compared to the individuals who did not take a nap.

The National Sleep Foundation the United States, reminds that a nap of 10 to 30 minutes, and away from bedtime in the evening, is ideal for maintaining alertness and alertness, improving performance, or simply taking a moment for yourself. However, more than half an hour of rest may not be practical.

On the other hand, one of the experts who publicly exposes his position anti-nap It is Michael Breusknown in the United States asthe dream doctor” and author of the book Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program for Better Sleep and Health. The specialist explained thatin general, the nap is not the solution, it will reduce one’s ability to manage their own sleep pattern, make nighttime rest more difficult and may cause insomnia”.

“Napping can be a great tool for improving afternoon alertness and productivity,” said Harvard University sleep expert Rebecca Robbins (Getty)

In this direction, Breus pointed out that if one needs an “energy recharge”, the best strategy is to take a walk outside because the combination of physical activity with sunlight can improve attention and concentration. Another option is to have a good cup of coffee before 2 p.m., if what you’re looking for is to increase your alertness.

Breus considered that a siesta could only be suitable for exceptional casesFor example, when you slept less than 5 hours at night and need to be very alert and focused for a big presentation in the afternoon.

For their part, the specialists of the prestigious Mayo Clinic of the United States, pointed out that napping at the wrong time of day or too long can backfire. To find out when it’s suitable, they’ve put together a guide:

What are the benefits of napping?

– Relaxes the muscles and clears the mind

– Reduces fatigue and/or exhaustion

– Increases alertness

– Improves mood

– Improved performance including faster reaction time and better memory

What are the disadvantages of napping?

The nap, in addition to reducing stress levels during the day, strengthens the immune and cardiovascular systems (Getty)

The nap, in addition to reducing stress levels during the day, strengthens the immune and cardiovascular systems (Getty)

– Due to sleep inertia, people may feel groggy and disoriented upon waking up after a nap

nocturnal sleep problems. Short naps generally do not affect the quality of a night’s sleep for most people. But if you suffer from insomnia or poor quality sleep at night, it could make these problems worse.

Could a sudden increase in the need for a nap indicate a health problem?

If you feel an increased need for naps and there is no obvious cause for new fatigue or exhaustion in your life, talk to your doctor. You might be on medication or have a sleep disorder or other medical condition that interrupts your nighttime sleep.

What’s the best way to take a nap?

– take short naps. From only 10 to 20 minutes, and no more than half an hour. The longer your nap, the more likely you are to feel groggy afterwards. However, young adults can tolerate longer naps.

– Take a nap in the early afternoon. After 3 p.m., it can interfere with nighttime sleep. Individual factors, such as your need for sleep, sleep schedule, age, and medication intake, can also play a role in determining the best time of day to nap.

– Create a relaxing environment. Take a nap in a quiet, dark place with a comfortable room temperature and few distractions.

Finally, when you wake up after a nap, take the time to wake up before resuming your activities, especially those that require a quick or sharp response.

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