By afternoon, it has been almost eight hours since we woke up. There is a natural tendency in us to feel drowsy by this time. If it is a working day, of course you cannot yield to sleep and have to make your body and mind work for a few more hours. But during weekends, is it healthy practice to take a nap? Researchers in this field state that mid-day sleep brings in increased patience, more efficiency, enhanced learning skills and decreased stress levels. That is why they prefer to describe mid-day sleep as ‘power nap’.
Our body needs an average of eight hours sleep a day. If it is made to rest only for less than six hours, be warned that you are under the threat of a car accident. If you do not sleep properly, various bodily activities such as information processing, short-term memory, overall performance, reaction time, vision, vigilance etc are all negatively affected. However, too much of sleep is also not advisable.
A power nap of twenty minutes in the afternoon actually gives more rest to your body than twenty minutes of night sleep. This is because by afternoon, the body is likely to be exhausted. When we take a nap, we are actually yielding to our body’s demand to rest.
If you want to get maximum rest as you take the nap, it is wise to avoid caffeine at least six hours before the nap. Caffeine is a stimulant that makes an adverse effect on a person’s sleep pattern. The after-effects of drinking a cup of caffeine stays in your body for a longer period than you imagine. Always ensure that you set the alarm before going for nap. If not, your tired body might fall asleep for a longer time period.
Some people might not prefer to take a nap though they badly require it since they fear that such a practise during holidays will make their afternoon sessions drowsy and sleepy during working days. In such a case, you can try meditation, instead of sleep, to be recharged with energy.