What does napping mean?

With the fast paced world we live in, we sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed by responsibilities and deadlines. In such cases, it’s especially critical to realize the need for taking a break and prioritizing our own well-being. Napping, in fact, can be great in order to feel more energized and to increase our productivity. Napping is basically sleeping for a little while and it’s been proven to have many benefits to both the body and brain. It differs from sleeping as it’s often done during the day and is shorter than a nighttime sleep.

Is a daily nap healthy?

The debate about whether napping is healthy or not may be confusing as some argue that it affects nighttime sleep in a negative way. In most studies, the effect of naps varies depending on both the participant and the length of the nap. However, it’s been shown that it’s best to wake up from a nap during light sleep in order to feel energized. For the optimal results, you can either take a nap for 20 to 30 minutes so that you can wake up before diving into deep sleep later, or if you have more time, a 90 minute nap is recommended as well, which corresponds to a state of lighter sleep after the deep sleep. That said, the latter isn’t recommended for every day, unless you’re someone who works the night shift. It’s safe to say that a habit of less than a 20 minute nap will be beneficial for most people.

Why napping?

Napping has been proven to improve mood, immunity, alertness, creativity, productivity, and other cognitive abilities like memory and concentration. It’s also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety by allowing us to regulate challenging emotions. A recent study found that employees that had taken 30-minute naps for almost a month were observed to be “2.3% more productive.” This finding might encourage more workplaces to offer relaxation and meditation rooms to its employees.

Tips for napping during the day

There are a couple of things to keep in mind for an effective nap:

  • Be careful about the length of the nap
  • Create a silent and dark environment
  • Try meditation to relax 
  • Create ways to remind yourself to nap every day -- if you want to make it a habit, you can even set an alarm!
  • Don't nap too late

In addition to the optimal length of the nap, it’s important to do it in a silent and dark environment as it increases the quality of the nap, resulting in better benefits. If you want to make napping a habit, you may consider setting an alarm to remind yourself of your nap time. After setting up the suitable atmosphere, you may also listen to one of the sleep meditations on Meditopia in order to relax and get the best out of the nap.

So, if you feel drained and like you need a nap, you can consider these scientifically-proven tips, which will hopefully give you the best results in terms of energy and productivity.

Napping as a child

When you recall your childhood, you may think of the daily naps you were told to take in kindergarten and how much you didn’t like them. If you’ve been through it, you’re not alone. Kids in kindergarten may not enjoy taking naps, but they have many benefits to their overall mood and cognitive performance.