What do Google, Ben & Jerry’s, and Uber all have in common? They encourage regular napping in the workplace! That’s right. Many companies see the benefits of nap ‘pods’ for their staff. These designated quiet spaces where rest is encouraged are believed to enhance the health and well-being of staff.
There’s a reason why so many companies are embracing afternoon naps. If you’re not a serial napper, it might be time to switch gears. In this post we’ll break down the benefits to midday naps and how to successfully make them a part of your day.
Why are afternoon naps so good for you?
Plenty of studies have pondered the benefits of an afternoon siesta. A review paper from Brock University summarized the many positive impacts of napping. They found naps were beneficial for:
– Elevating mood and alertness
– Increasing cognitive performance (like addition and logical reasoning)
– Regulating emotions and lowering stress levels
– Boosting creativity
– Improving memory
On top of all these goodies, naps can benefit your physical fitness. A study from Sports Medicine had sleep deprived athletes try napping. The results? Napping improved their reaction time, short-term memory, and physical and endurance performance.
If you’re one of the many Canadians who suffer from sleep deprivation, a nap can help you to catch up on lost sleep without dramatically changing your sleep schedule.
5 tips for successful midday snooze
Before you dive onto your couch for a big ol’ catnap, be sure to keep these tips in mind:
– Keep it short – a nap that’s under 30 minutes is just right. This will ensure your nighttime slumber isn’t compromised
– Make sure it’s not too late in the day. Late naps could prevent you from getting enough of your body’s sleep hormones in the evening
– Relax your mind before the nap. Try a relaxation exercise – meditation or deep breathing – this will activate the body’s rest and digest mode
– Choose an ideal location. A dark, quiet space is ideal. If that’s not possible – get yourself some earplugs, an eye mask, or a white noise machine help you doze off
– Avoid caffeine after 3pm. Your nap will give you way more bang for your buck than a cup of joe
Remember that naps are not a healthy substitute for a good night’s sleep! If you suffer from insomnia, you should avoid naps because it could impact your urge for sleep later.
Next time you find yourself hitting that three o’clock slump, instead of reaching for that coffee – consider a nap. These brief little sleeps can transform your day!