Finding the time to catch up on sleep when you’re a busy parent is not easy.
But here’s a good excuse to get more shut-eye, new research reveals regular power naps not only boost your productivity but also make you happier!
Power naps are good for your health and happiness
A recent study by scientists at the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K. asked over 1,000 participants to rate their happiness levels and whether or not they napped during the day.
The volunteers were divided into three groups: non-nappers, short nappers, and long nappers.
67% of short nappers admitted to feeling happy, while only 56% of long nappers and 60% of non-nappers felt good.
“Previous research has shown that naps of under 30 minutes make you more focused, productive and creative, and these new findings suggest the tantalising possibility that you can also become happier by just taking a short nap,” said study author Professor Richard Wiseman.
“Similarly longer napping is associated with several health risks and again, this is in line with our results.”
What’s more, the study found that 43% aged between 18 and 30 are taking long naps during the day. Whereas just 30% who take long naps are over 50.
And it seems having a power nap has a heap of benefits, such as helping boost performances, reducing fatigue, improving alertness and helping combat stress.
“A large body of research shows that short naps boosts performance,” added Professor Wiseman.
“Many highly successful companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s and Google, have installed dedicated nap spaces, and employees need to wake up to the upside of napping at work.”
Napping is better than a cup of coffee
NASA performed a study that proved 20 minutes of napping is more effective than 200mg of caffeine and a 40 minute nap is proven to increase how alert you are by 100%.
91 volunteers spent 10 days living on one of 18 different sleep schedules, with daily naps of 0 to 2.5 hours.
“To our amazement, working memory performance benefited from the naps, [but] vigilance and basic alertness did not benefit very much,” David Dinges, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, who led the study.
“Working memory,” he explains, “involves focusing attention on one task while holding other tasks in memory … and is a fundamental ability critical to performing complex work [like piloting a spaceship]. A poor working memory could result in errors.”
So forget the washing up, the floors and the laundry. Go and have a quick nana nap while bub is down.
We won’t tell.
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