This is What Happens to Your Body and Mind When You Take 20-Minute Naps

Napping is good for you at so many levels. Taking a nap throughout the day brings benefits to both your body and mind. Naps give you energy, and improves your cognitive skills.

Unlike most mammals, people sleep once a day. According to scientists, we aren’t monophasic beings. It’s more than obvious that we don’t get enough sleep. You may be sleeping at night, but you are definitely not getting enough sleep.

Power naps relieve your sleep deficit and boost your brain function. This gives you a hand when you solve problems, and also improves verbal memory, perceptual learning, object learning, and statistical learning. Naps boost your mood, “killing” your fatigue. They are great for your heart, blood pressure, stress and weight management.

Want to nap? Go for it. Your body will thank you.

Health benefits of naps

A group of Greek scientists found that adult men who take a nap three times a week have a 37% lower risk of dying from a heart-related disease when compared to those who don’t take a nap. Even NASA is focused on this topic.

Siesta (after lunch) is a common practice in most countries. It’s interesting how people living in these countries have a low rate of heart attack. Heart attacks are common in US and UK, and we don’t really take a nap that often. See the relation?

If you ask what are the benefits of napping, just keep reading:

  1. High cognitive performance
  2. Great alertness
  3. Improved memory
  4. Relaxation
  5. Lower stress level

A 1995 NASA study was focused on the benefits of naps in 747 pilots. Participants took 40-minute naps a day. Those who napped had 16% better performance in median reaction time and 34% improvement in lapses when compared to no-rest participants.

Your regular cup of coffee isn’t as efficient as a 20-minute nap.

Naps improve verbal memory, motor skills and perceptual learning, while improving your recall memory. The study showed that caffeine impairs motor sequence learning and declarative verbal memory.

The length of naps is important

A 20-minute nap can do wonders. However, the length of your nap depends on the benefits you want to experience. Experts at WebMD explain that there are a few categories of napping.

20-minute nap

It enhances memory, and has a dramatic effect on alertness and motor learning skills.

20-30 minute naps

It improves creativity and boosts memory.

30-60 minute naps

Affects your decision-making skills and benefits the part of your memory that regulates memorizing the alphabet, directions, and other similar information.

60-90 minute naps

In this way you get your REM sleep, and this is the best nap you will ever get. Your brain rests and you start at the beginning. Nap for an hour or so to improve your problem-solving ability. NASA confirmed this theory.

When naps are a bad idea

Some people don’t like naps because they stay awake at night. This may lead to sleep deprivation, and we all know where that one goes. Sometimes a short nap makes you feel dazed and you are unable to concentrate. If your workplace doesn’t allow naps, try not to ruin your career.