Sleep patterns in the young and the old vary. The young especially infants and toddlers sleep heavily during the day and night. Adults aren’t able to maintain this routine. Some adults prefer having naps during the day for relaxation. Naps help your body relax and take a break from the chores of the day. Unfortunately for some adults, this does not work. Such adults prefer not to have naps during the day to avoid interfering with their sleep patterns for the night.
Your daytime job is an important factor in determining whether you should have a nap. Doing manual jobs may not give you room to nap if you want to. Luckily for such workers, they are able to sleep very soundly during the night. Employees in white-collar jobs engage their brains more than their strength during work hours. Using your brain may not appear as tiresome as using your energy. On the contrary, employees in manual or white-collar jobs both feel exhausted at the end of the day.
For white-collar job employees, they could opt to have naps in form of bed rest in their offices. This offers a soothing and great relaxation to their bodies. That may not be the case at night as their desire to sleep could have reduced greatly. Employs in hard labor work the whole day but sleep heavily during the night. The bridge between these two sleeping patterns can only be determined by you. Get to know what sleep patterns suit your body. This will help you choose whether a nap is worst or best for you.
Health benefits of napping
Napping increases performance during the day. If you have numerous tasks to accomplish before the end of the day, a nap helps you to stay alert and functioning. Science has proven that a nap:
- Sharpens your memory
Sleeping at night is known to boost and improve your retention of information. Studies on the subject have also found out that naps during the day can improve your associative memory. Associative memory is the ability to remember information about objects that are not related. Through this type of memory, you have the ability to remember the aroma of a given perfume.
A 90-minute study conducted by Neurobiology of Learning and Memory had interesting findings. The study conducted between two groups of healthy participants made one group to have a 90-minute nap. Before napping both groups were shown two sets of photograph pairs. Both sets had the same images but each image had been paired with a different face. The group that had a 90-minute nap was better at responding and retaining information they saw on the photos.
- Improved Physical Stamina
A research conducted in 2007 and published in the Journal of Sports Science gives proof to the fact that naps help to improve physical strength as well as your mental health. Participants in the study were made to run before and after a 30-minute nap. Thy napped after having their lunch. Participants who napped and ran covered long track distances as compared to participants who did not nap. The research concluded that a nap after lunch has the ability to improve physical and mental alertness.
- Faster learning of new skills
Faster learning of a new skill improves with the frequency of naps you have during the day. A test done proved the effect of habitual napping on reading and retaining information. Students who studied and had frequent naps showed better performance in retaining information. Conversely, the opposite is true for students who have less or no naps.
- Improves night attentiveness/Alertness
Napping 30 minutes to 4 hours during the day has the profound effect of improving your attention during the day. Coupled with a drink of coffee, a 30 min to 4 hours’ nap greatly improved the performance of night shift workers. Further studies conducted between napping and caffeine drinking proved to nap as superior in keeping one alert at night as compared to caffeine.
- Improves body immunity
Sleep is important for your overall health. Repeated lack of sleep makes your body to react by producing an excess of stress hormones such as cortisol. The body also produces cytokines, a type of inflammatory molecule. In a 2015 study, participants were restricted to a 2-hour night of sleep. The following day, urine and blood measured from their system showed an increase of cortisol, norepinephrine and cytokines. The participants were offered a one-and-a-half-hour nap. Their urine and blood samples showed a great reduction in stress hormones and cytokines.
Hormones play an important role in influencing sleep patterns. Apart from melatonin, the hormone responsible for inducing your sleep, the relation between adh and sleep cannot be understated. The antidiuretic hormone also helps control the water that the kidneys convert into urine. Without ADH many would have frequent sleep interruptions to go pass water. Your body should have the right levels of adh to support your body water retention and blood pressure.
Night Sleep vs naps
Sleep and a nap are both very important components of body rest. Neither can substitute the other as they both hold immense health benefits to the human body. Napping and sleeping are needful for the body and can only be harmful if they are misused. Some can nap during the day and still sleep heavily at night.
Whether to opt for a nap or sleep solely relies on you. What works for another person may not work out for you. Ensure to take note of your sleep patterns both in the day and the night. If you struggle to sleep at night because of nap during the day, consider doing away with naps. However, if both patterns work for you, you can make the best use of them to your advantage. Given the benefits of a nap to your body, you could consider scheduling time for your body to rest during the day. This will work well for you if you can also sleep soundly at night.
Not Sleeping Well? Get a Better Night’s Sleep With These Top Tips!
Sleep and Dream: Habits to Ditch for a Good Night’s Sleep
Get Quality Night Sleep by Getting the Right Mattress