April 17, 2024
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Why Napping Is Important For Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Whenever March is on the horizon, people look forward to the month because it means that winter is on its way out and spring is finally on its way. However, there is also one thing that people dread regarding March: Daylight Savings Time. However, some jurisdictions do not implement it, but the majority do. That means people lose an hour of sleep when the time change happens. And how can you make the transition easier? You will want to get a nap during the day, as that will help you in many ways. In honor of Napping Day, March 11th, the day after the Daylight Savings Time change, let’s discuss why napping is important for your mind, body, and soul.

You Never Outgrow Naps

Once a child reaches a specific age, around kindergarten age, they outgrow napping. Even though it is true that once children reach that age, they don’t need to nap to foster their growth, no one ever outgrows naps. Infants and toddlers need to nap because it rapidly promotes their growth and development.

Babies nap around three times a day once they are past the newborn stage, and usually around six months, they don’t need to nap as they don’t usually need to take more than two naps a day. Toddlers don’t usually need more than one long nap. However, older children, teenagers, and adults of all ages may not need a nap like infants and young toddlers do for their growth, but naps are highly recommended as they nurture your mind, body, and soul.

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The ideal time to nap to benefit you is in the afternoon, and the length should be about 20 minutes, no more than a half-hour, as taking a long nap will disrupt your sleep schedule, which is not what you want to happen. If you aim for a 20-minute catnap during your lunch break at work, if you are working, then you will reap many benefits. Let’s discuss how your mind, body, and soul will be better off once you implement napping in your daily routine.

Napping Can Lift Your Mood

If you are feeling down and finding that you are going through the motions, you likely feel bogged down by many responsibilities. However, you can do something to brighten your mood and help you feel better by taking a quick afternoon nap. When you nap, you will be able to feel more refreshed with a renewed mindset. Even if you take a light nap where you don’t go into a deep sleep, relaxation and lying alone will help you by giving you the mood boost you need. When you are in a better mood, you can function much better.

Napping Can Help You Nourish Yourself Properly

When overtired, you are urged to eat more, and the foods you want to eat are ultra-processed, sugar-laden, high-calorie foods. Researchers have found that weight gain is associated with a lack of proper rest. That is because a lack of rest will reduce the amount of leptin, the satiating hormone, and increase the levels of ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone.

If you are tired and dealing with too many responsibilities, and you have that urge to head over to the vending machine to grab a candy bar, the better thing is to take a quick nap instead. You will find that after you nap, that urge to snack will disappear. That will help regulate the ghrelin and leptin levels, making your hunger disappear until you are genuinely hungry.

Napping Can Boost Your Creativity

Imagine having too many tabs open on your computer. You feel lost and confused, and it is very distracting. Therefore, given that situation, you could not even muster up a flicker of creativity. The same thing happens without napping. Your mind gets very cluttered, especially if you have had a lot of things happening earlier in the day. However, taking a quick power nap in the afternoon will help clear your mind so you can be more creative.

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If you have taken a nap in the early afternoon and found yourself spitting out ideas you did not have before your nap, that is why! The nap helped clear your mind so you could develop more ideas. Think about Google headquarters installing nap pods for the employees. They did this because they knew that the power of taking a quick nap would help clear the mind so you could become creative, which also led to excellent problem-solving.

Napping Can Help You Stay More Alert

You already know that napping is excellent for your creativity. It is not a surprise since napping is also excellent for you because you are more alert and can focus and concentrate better if you take a quick afternoon nap. A quick nap will regenerate your mind, and when you begin to fall into that “afternoon slump,” that is a sign that you need a nap.

If you work at a nine-to-five office job, you cannot nap when it is not your break time. That is why, as mentioned previously, one of the best things you can do is take a quick nap during your lunch break. If that means having to eat your lunch before or after your break at your desk, then you can always do that, depending on how long your lunch break is.

However, if you don’t work at a typical nine-to-five office job, square away the early afternoon to get a quick nap to improve your functioning as your mind needs to shut down during mid-day to reset itself. Did you know that Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were known to take daily naps? That likely played a role in their incredibly sharp minds. They worked daily being attentive, alert, and focused, which, of course, improved the creativity they needed for problem-solving.

Napping Helps Reduce Stress

You already know that napping helps keep your hunger hormones in sync and enables you to regenerate your mind to be more alert, focused, and creative. Another excellent benefit of napping is that it can help reduce stress. Suppose you are at a high-stress job or have a lot of stress with your family life. In that case, if you do not manage the stress, it can lead to many mental and physical issues such as depression, anxiety, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. That is due to the high levels of cortisol that your body produces when highly stressed.

However, when you are napping, your body reduces your cortisol levels, leading to lower stress, and you have the added bonus of having a clear mind that will help you find creative ways to manage your stress. Therefore, napping does help you reduce stress levels. It is even more vital that you take even a longer nap if you have lost much-needed sleep at night, but try not to make it over 40 minutes as you want to ensure that you maintain a good sleep schedule when you incorporate your nap times during the day.

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Napping Is Great For Your Memory

You already know how much napping positively affects your mind, body, and soul, as another benefit you get from napping is that it enhances your memory. According to researchers, brain regions involving memory become activated as neural activity occurs when sleeping. When that happens, this reinforces your memories and gets moved into the long-term brain areas.

Therefore, not only does napping help you stay more alert and focused, but it will help improve your memory. That means you will not have so many incidents of not knowing where you put things, for example. And that also makes napping more important as you age because memory is the first to be profoundly affected.

Napping Is Good For Your Heart

You know that napping can help reduce stress and encourage you to nourish yourself, which only helps your cardiovascular health. Additionally, when you nap, your heart output is less, which gives it some respite. As your heart rests, the parasympathetic system takes over, known as the rest and digest response.

Having a short nap and getting a good night’s sleep as often as you can will help your heart health, and if you don’t sleep well at night, then that makes having a good nap during the day even more important. Napping also will lower your blood pressure readings, which is a sign that your heart is getting the respite it needs.

Napping Can Be Good For Your Immune Function

There is a reason that you need plenty of rest when you are sick, as sleep helps regenerate your body, and even when you are healthy, a nap will only do that to strengthen your immune function. Researchers have found that white blood cell counts in those who take naps are at lower levels than those who don’t, and they have found that those who take naps after having a poor night’s sleep have white cell counts at baseline levels.

If there are many virus infections, you want to ensure you can get your naps in to help ward it off, in addition to taking in plenty of nutrients, especially vitamin C.

After reading about the benefits of naps, you will want to ensure that you take advantage of the time to do so in your afternoon. Naps are the best thing for your mind, body, and soul, and if you can nap consistently daily, you will feel better on so many levels. Napping Day this year is on March 11th, the day after the Daylight Savings Time change. Not only will a nap help you adjust to the change quicker, but it will help you feel great, too. Have a great siesta.