General Health

5 Most Promising Health Benefits of Taking A Power Nap

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 19 August 2022, Updated on - 02 February 2024

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Daytime napping is very common in Indian households. However, unlike popular belief, napping isn't only for toddlers. Daytime napping can make up for inadequate night sleep and help restore your energy. Power naps offer the recuperative advantages of sleep without impairing a person's capacity to do so at night.

What time of day is ideal for a power nap?

There is no ideal moment to take a power nap. The best timing usually relies mainly on personal aspects, including a person's schedule. The ideal time to nap, for those who have a 9 to 5 job, could be before or during the "post-lunch slump," which often occurs between 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. 

Naps after 4 o'clock are not recommended for people who work during the day. A late-day nap might disrupt a person's circadian cycles and their ability to achieve a good night's sleep.

The best time for a power nap, however, can be sooner or later for shift workers or people who work evenings.


Can sleeping too much or too little be harmful to your health?

Experts disagree on the ideal nap length that may be both helpful and productive. Some doctors suggest that a 90-minute nap has the same health advantages as eight hours of sleep. 

However, sleep inertia is the key concept while setting an ideal time for a power nap time. Sleep inertia describes the tiredness experienced by a person after waking up from a prolonged nap, which can lower cognitive function throughout the day. The recommended nap time, according to different studies, is 10 minutes.


5 benefits of a power nap

A power nap is associated with many health and lifestyle benefits.

1. Improves understanding and learning

The restorative power of sleep lies in REM sleep (the stage after deep sleep) as it helps in the recuperation of the body. It makes way for imagination, and in-depth comprehension, and allows you to reminisce about the information you've been absorbing during the day. Naps have comparable impacts, whether it's an hour-long sleep or a fast 15-minute catnap. Consider taking a nap if you can. 

2. Improves productivity

Studies have demonstrated that napping can boost mood, memory, and attentiveness. Doctors suggest taking a nap in the afternoon can help you unwind and release tension. As a result, they are sometimes referred to as "power naps" since they enhance productivity and improve the functioning of the body. Power naps enhance our capacity for logical reasoning, enhance memory, and help us manage stress efficiently.

3. Encourages the body to eat ideally

Insufficient sleep can increase the release of neurotransmitters like ghrelin (the hunger hormone), thereby, increasing the desire to eat. People who don't get enough sleep may feel overstuffed or have no appetite. Therefore, taking a nap would make up for your insufficient sleep while ensuring the proper release of diet-related hormones. 

4. Promotes growth and recovery

While we sleep, our body revitalises itself and heals the physical and mental harm done to it due to stress or pollutants. Daytime napping also boosts the release of growth hormone, which is in charge of muscle and tissue regeneration.

5. Regulates blood pressure

According to data presented at the 2019 American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session, an afternoon nap can lower blood pressure significantly. According to the study, taking naps often decreases blood pressure by 5 to 7 mm Hg, which is equal to the effect of taking a low-dose blood pressure medication.

If you’re thinking of taking a nap, make sure the place is peaceful, tranquil, and has dim lighting. Do not forget to set the alarm for not more than 20 minutes and squeeze in a power nap.

You can also buy a neck pillow to further ease your nap time.

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Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.

General Health

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