Sleep Disorders, Sleep Remedies & Insomnia Relief


To Nap or Not to Nap?

To nap or not to nap, that is the question. There is a great debate as to whether or not napping ultimately hurts or helps you. Did you know that most mammals do not have sleep patterns like humans? In fact, most mammals nap off and on all day and all night long. Meanwhile, you and many other people recognize a distinct daytime and a distinct night time when sleep should happen. But what happens when that sleep is interrupted in any way? The result is that you might feel tired the next day and catch yourself nodding off. In other words, you are sleep-deprived. Some people believe that taking a short nap during the day will not hurt your chances of a good night’s sleep. Another group believes that taking a nap during the day will affect your sleep patterns at that night. So who is right and who is wrong? The answer could be both of them.

When it comes to nap time, there are those people who take a nap the same time every day, like toddlers or senior citizens. Some people like to nap when they know ahead of time that some thing might keep them up late into the night. They are trying to accumulate some rest during the day in anticipation of that late night. When you are sleep deprived, sometimes you just have to take a nap or you would be unable to function and perform certain activities. If you did shift work, chances are that you are one of many who take naps wherever you can to get some rest in order to function in your job. The same applies to many doctors, especially the young medical residents.

If you support taking naps, then you might be aware that a short thirty minute snooze could heighten your awareness and improve your performance in your job. Your memory recall improves and your stress level drops. People with heart disease have had their symptoms ease up thanks to napping. Basically, thanks to naps, your “batteries” basically recharge and get you through until bedtime. People in Latin cultures are known for their siestas during the day. They are also known for their lower stress levels and blood pressure.

So if you decide to take a nap during the day, there are a few guidelines to make the most of your brief time. First of all, naps should be fairly short, about twenty to thirty minutes is the best for a quick pick-me-up. You’ll notice that short naps make you feel energized. Secondly, timing is everything when it comes to napping – too late in the day interferes with bed time and too early just plain interferes with your scheduled activities. Third, you have to take a nap in a quiet place, preferably your bedroom.

If you are a nap time supporter, then you have probably heard about the power nap movement. Nap supporters feel that since many people get breaks at work, they should use that break time to recharge their energies instead of grabbing a snack or drink. Mental acuity is greatest during the day after a restful period. These nap supporters have just one problem – corporations see sleeping in the middle of the day as wrong and lazy. They don’t see the potential rewards they could be reaping from a short mid-day nap.

Of course, with every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, there are detractors of nap time. If you are one of those detractors, then you might be aware that you are not functioning at one hundred percent immediately after napping. The full benefits of that midday nap may not be realized until at least thirty minutes after waking up. This delay could affect anyone in a high task-oriented job, like anything having to do with moving machinery parts or welding. You might also feel that napping, especially in the afternoon, affects your bedtime and quality of sleep you need in order to get through the following day.

The issue of “to nap or not to nap” is largely subjective due to the fact that each person has different needs and tolerances to catching a few snoozes. Only you can decide what the best course for you to take is.

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