Today we celebrate the National Napping Day. We would like to use this day to draw attention to the importance of taking care of our mental health. Adequate sleep is an important factor in proper functioning and has a huge impact on our well being. Research shows (Journal of Sleep Research, 2009) that even a 15-minute nap during the day can affect the quality of our thought processes. Naps can improve performance in areas such as reaction time, logical reasoning and symbol recognition.
If you feel overwhelmed or stuck and cannot find a solution to the given problem, such a short nap during the day can have a positive effect on you and the ability to look at the solutions from a different perspective. If taken properly, naps can be more beneficial and energetic than coffee or energy drinks.
If you want to have more energy, a 20-30 minute nap is enough, a 60 minute nap will allow you to rest but can make you feel lethargic or drowsy when you wake up and the 90 to 120 minute nap allows you to enter the REM sleep phase. To achieve the best results, it is recommended to take naps 2-3 times a week. If, despite this, we still feel tired and need naps every day, this may be a sign of improper sleep during the night or a health issue.
Maintaining mental well-being is important especially during a pandemic, when we are exposed to many negative stimuli and messages. Naps are related not only to increased awareness and brain performance but also with a decrease in stress and emotion regulation. Thanks to this, we can cope better in everyday situations, as well as during demanding tasks at work. Let’s use this day to change our habits for the better to be able to feel more relaxed and happy.