Naps are important for babies and toddlers, but the desire to nap often dissipates as children get older. That doesn’t mean a nap isn’t a good idea, and getting older doesn’t mean that napping isn't still something your body can benefit from. While the idea of a power nap might sound great, it may be that you think you don't have time for on. Maybe you thinking napping during the day means you're lazy. Perhaps you just have too much to do. Maybe you just think you're not a person who needs a nap.

Power naps are not lazy. They are beneficial to your overall health. Your body needs sleep in order to function correctly, and a nap in the middle of the day might be precisely what your body needs to do just that. If you’re not sure you have time to nap, perhaps now is the time to educate yourself on how napping throughout the day can help you improve your health. This information might just make you want to lie down and take a rest today.

What Is a Power Nap?

To understand how beneficial a power nap is to your health, you should understand what it is and how long it lasts. A power nap is not a traditional nap. A traditional nap is one you take for a few hours every afternoon, but a power nap lasts only a few minutes. The ideal timeframe is around 15 to 20 minutes of sleep each day. This might not sound like much, but it’s enough to benefit your health significantly. Anything longer than this is a traditional nap, which can also be beneficial, but is harder to fit into your day.

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The biggest benefit of a power nap is that it’s short. While it certainly does benefit your health, it’s short enough that almost everyone can fit in time to have one throughout the day. Even when you are significantly pressed for time, you can almost always find 15 to 20 minutes to lie down and close your eyes. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can fall asleep when your body is exhausted and needs the rest.

How to Improve Your Health with a Power Nap

How does a 20-minute power nap change your body and benefit your health? The question is not uncommon because 20 minutes doesn’t sound like enough time to benefit from a nap. However, it is beneficial in many ways. One of the biggest ways that this form of napping helps is by allowing your body the chance to reset and so improving your mood.

Recharge Your Body

power naps

Your body needs rest to recharge, and a power nap is all it takes to do that for you. You will boost your alertness and your ability to concentrate, and you will find yourself more motivated to get things done throughout the day. It takes only 20 minutes to enhance your fine motor skills and help you focus more on the task at hand. These are two things that people struggle with throughout the day.

Eliminate Stress

Stress isn’t always bad for you, but it’s not always good for you, either. Some stress is called motivational stress because it allows you to work harder and find the motivation to do the things that need doing in your life. However, some stress is pointless and needless. It’s something you can zap by getting a quick nap in throughout the day. Lowering your stress is something that not only makes you feel better each day, but also something that allows you to reduce your risk of heart problems and other health-related issues.

Improve Your Mood

Napping for a few minutes each day can help you live with a much better attitude. Your mood can improve significantly with just a few minutes of sleep in the middle of the day. When your mood is good, your attitude improves tremendously, which helps you have a better day. You’re more likely to get things done, to have a happier day, and to make better life choices.

Reduce Your Risk of Making Poor Food Choices

eating healthy foods

When you are exhausted and not sleeping enough, you are more likely to eat food that isn’t good for you. When you spend some time sleeping and recharging your body, you tend to make healthier eating choices. This allows you to not only feel better about yourself but also feel better about your health. When you eat well, you reduce your risk of gaining weight. You also reduce your risk of developing health issues such as diabetes and other problems. It’s a simple way to maintain control just by focusing on sleeping for a few minutes every afternoon.

Improve Memory Function

Your memory suffers significantly when you don’t get enough sleep. Short power naps throughout the day can increase your memory function. The little things that tend to escape you as the days go on are easier to remember when you sleep more. This helps you control your day and maintain less stress because you’re confident things have been corrected the first time.

Boost Immune System Function

happy baby sleeping

Sleep is one thing that helps boost your immune system. When you are tired and overwhelmed, you’re more likely to suffer from illness. Germs are everywhere, but a strong immune system can fight them off without you ever realizing you were fighting anything off in the first place. When you are tired, and your immune system isn’t working properly, you’re more likely to catch a cold or flu and end up sick for days at a time. Get some sleep to prevent your immune system from falling apart.

How to Take a Power Nap

You will not receive the benefits of a power nap if you don’t learn to take your nap correctly. There is a right and a wrong way to nap throughout the day to improve your health, and these tips help you learn to take your power naps correctly and so reap the best benefits.

Stay Consistent

The worst thing you can do for yourself is sleep whenever and wherever. To get the most out of your naps, create a schedule, so you nap at the same general time each day. The best time to take a nap is between one and three in the afternoon. This is the time when your body most needs rest, so that’s when your body will benefit from the rest the most.

Set an Alarm

set an alarm

Do not allow your power nap to turn into a long, leisurely nap. The point here is to sleep for less than 20 minutes. Set an alarm for 30 minutes to give yourself a few moments to fall asleep but also ensure you don’t sleep longer than you should. Your nap won’t benefit you as much if it’s longer than a few minutes.

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Sleep in the Dark

It’s not always possible to sleep in a completely dark room in the middle of the afternoon. If you have a room in your home or office with total darkness, try to nap in that room. If you don’t, a sleep mask can work wonders. Your body needs dark to fall asleep fast, and this is the simplest way to ensure you’re getting the best possible nap.

Use a Blanket

A blanket will help you with your nap. Staying warm helps you fall asleep faster. Your body temperature drops when you sleep, and drop quickly. Even a short nap can leave you so cold you wake up before you want to if you’re not prepared for it. A light blanket will do the trick.

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Find a Quiet Place to Rest

woman sleeping

Some people can sleep with noise in the background and some people cannot. However, it's helpful to find a quiet place away from the kids, the office, the phone, or whatever keeps you awake. This allows you to fall asleep faster without as much distraction. When you're taking power naps, you don't have much time to waste falling asleep. If you lie there for an hour before you fall asleep, you're wasting time. You'll find it takes too long to nap, and you might not schedule a nap again.

Conclusion

The average adult requires anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep each night for the body to function properly. Your brain and your organs need this rest so they can work harder and stronger. Without proper rest, your body doesn’t perform as well as it should, and you can end up suffering through a lack of sleep. If you cannot get the full seven to nine hours each night, try aiming for a quick 20-minute nap every afternoon at the same time. This helps your body recharge, reset, and work harder and stronger the rest of the day. Even if it doesn't sound like nearly enough time to sleep, this nap is far better for you than coffee or any other form of caffeine to wake you up mid-afternoon.

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