In honor of #NationalNappingDay Culture Fuzz thought it would be more than appropriate to name some of the great benefits that a good old fashion snooze session can have.
Now, just because a lot of us like to nap does not mean it's an adequate substitute for a good night's sleep, it's very important that a healthy and balanced schedule is incorporated into your lifestyle to avoid burning out or getting really ill.
Keep reading to for some facts that you can use to justify why sleeping like a cat throughout the day is actually good for you.
Humans are Mammals
Not meaning to sound so obvious but yes, humans are in fact mammals and according to the National Sleeping Foundation "More than 85% of mammalian species are polyphasic sleepers, meaning that they sleep for short periods throughout the day" Humans however are monophasic sleepers which means our day is divided into two distinct periods, a time for sleep and a time for wakefulness. It's not clear what the natural sleep pattern of a human is but judging by the ever growing sleep deprivation happening in America I will put my vote in the polyphasic sleeper box.
Improve Yo Attitude
I get crazy cranky when I'm sleepy and I know plenty of other people who react the same way. Not to remedy an inadequate sleep schedule, but 20-30 minute naps can actually lighten your mood and bring your stress levels down. It's really hard to be happy and chipper when your yawning and internally screaming at yourself to wake up.
Improve Your Brain Function
Dr. Sara Mednick, a psychologist at University of California states,
"Napping can improve brain function ranging from memory to focus and creativity." Napping actually helps our brains solidify memories. Napping, it seems, pushes memories to the neocortex, the brain’s “more permanent storage,” preventing them from being “overwritten.”
So next time you nap while studying just tell them your better retaining information.
Helps to Avoid Burning Out
A study from Massachusetts shows how napping can help you overcome 'burn out' or an overload of information.
To see whether napping could improve visual discrimination, a team led by Robert Stickgold, a neuroscientist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, had college students who were not sleep deprived stare at a video screen filled with horizontal bars. Periodically, three diagonal bars flashed in the lower left corner of the screen, and the students had to say whether these bars were stacked horizontally or vertically. The researchers graded students’ performance by measuring how long the diagonal bars had to be shown in order for them to answer correctly 80% of the time.
Students sat through 1250 frustrating trials during each session, so those who did not nap did worse and worse over the course of the day. But students who took a 1-hour nap returned to their original performance levels in the next test.
Improves Your Health
Sleep deprivation leads to an excess of the hormone cortisol, which is known as the "stress hormone". Cortisol usually helps us deal with fight or flight responses but an excess of this hormone can actually increase glucose intolerance and tummy fat. Too much cortisol can weaken muscular and immune systems and decrease levels of the growth hormone known ans testosterone which can all lead to diabetes and heart disease.
When you sleep or nap, you release growth hormone. Which explains why a constantly sleeping teenage boys goes for 5'5 to 6'5 almost over night. Sleep is the antidote to cortisol and not only will it reduce stress and anxiety but it can prime your sexual function.
So next time you try to talk yourself out of taking a nap because it's frowned upon or you feel like you're not being productive enough just remember the anatomical benefits of getting enough sleep has.