napping

The Caveats of Napping and Power Napping

The Caveats of Napping and Power Napping

To reap the benefits of napping, there are some key caveats to take into consideration.  

Make Them Short  

When we say napping can bring about positive health change in your day, this is invariably referring to “power napping”.  

A power nap refers to a sleep that is short in duration – usually between 10 and 30 minutes. It’s something you might do at work on your lunch break, or during a Saturday afternoon before a night out.  

The scientific studies outline performance benefits based on naps of less than 30 or 40 minutes. This will stop you from dropping into a deep sleep state. Once you drop into a deep sleep, you’ll need a longer, night-time kind of sleep to feel any benefit when you wake up. If you end up sleeping for an hour or two, you’ll drift into a deep sleep and likely suffer from sleep inertia, a slightly impaired state of cognitive and sensory-motor performance, when you wake up. You’ll likely feel worse than you did before you went to sleep, experiencing fatigue and grogginess.   

Make sure you only nap in short bursts is key to ensure you experience all the benefits it can bring. 

Prioritise a Good Night’s Sleep   

The first question to ask yourself before you take a nap is “why?”. If the answer is that you consistently need to catch up after a poor night’s sleep, then you need to readdress your priorities.  

The link between regularly getting good sleep and your long-term health are well established. If you’re struggling to sleep at night, suffer from insomnia or sleep apnea, but you’re taking naps every day, those naps might be hindering your ability to drop off at night. Treat a nap as a mid-afternoon burst, but never as a substitute to a good eight hours each night.  

Napping Could Point to Illness   

If you’re spending big chunks of your day feeling tired but evening sleep isn’t a problem, it could be a sign of a more serious health concern. Studies, like this one in the American Journal of Epidemiology linked those who nap with higher rates of mortality. This isn’t to say that napping increases your chance of an early death. It points to the fact that people suffering from illness are more likely to nap during the day due to the fatigue that comes with their complications.  

Don’t Take Them to Late 

Naps don’t just have an optimum length; they also have an optimum time of day. Lunchtime is the best part of the day to head off for a nap – between the hours of 12pm and 2pm. Neatly coinciding with your office lunch break, it’s the perfect time to refresh and refocus in the afternoon. Leave it till 3pm or later, and you’ll likely cause disruption to your sleep later that night.   

Under the right circumstances, napping can have a hugely beneficial effect on your day. Offices across the world are starting to wake up to the benefits a nap can have on staff productivity if you give them the opportunity to have a calming snooze at lunchtime. If you get the chance to count some afternoon sheep, it could bring a boost in your performance long into the day.  

Posted by m6beds in Benefits of Napping, Buy The Right Bed, Choose Your Perfect Mattress, Choosing The Right Mattress, Clean Bedding, M6 Beds, napping, Power Naps
Is Napping Good For You

Is Napping Good For You

Naps are something we’re all familiar with, no matter where we are in the world. The National Sleep Foundation found that 34% of adults admitted to napping. Given its popularity, a body of scientific evidence has accrued that looks at the health impacts on those that choose to take a quick nap every now and then.  

Napping can feel like a negative activity. You might feel like you’re being lazy or unproductive for getting your head down, but the science suggests that you shouldn’t feel this way. In fact, napping is likely to lead to some positive performance-related benefits, provided you go about it in the right way.  

The Benefits of Napping and Power Naps 

There are many observed benefits of napping. Here’s a few of the main positives, plus some of the scientific research that proves it.   

Decrease Fatigue 

The demands of the modern workplace can lead to tired, fatigued employees as the working week wears on, but naps could be the solution to managing the effects. In 2015, the Industrial Psychiatry Journal published a study that specifically looked at managing fatigue in the workplace. They concluded that taking short naps to “top-up” a healthy sleep cycle can be a powerful tool for reducing fatigue in the afternoon.  

Reaction Times and Performance Lapses 

NASA have spent many years funding research into the power of naps. Being in space is known to disrupt the sleep patterns of astronauts and, given the technicality of their job, any opportunity to boost performance should be capitalised upon.  

The study, detailed here, discovered that pilots are also able to maintain a wide range of performance indicators thanks to a nap. For example, napping astronauts were able to maintain their pre-nap reaction times when they woke up. Those that hadn’t napped would see a decline over the course of their flight.  

They also found that those who napped suffered from 34% fewer performance “lapses”, which in this case was a slow reaction to something happening in the cockpit.  

Improve Memory  

If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, most of us reach for the cafetiere and brew ourselves a coffee. But research shows that when it comes to something like memory (a key marker of workplace performance), you might be better served reaching for a pillow. 

A study in the Behavioural Brain Research journal found that naps were found to provide a consistent boost in performance across many different memory tasks. Caffeine on the other hand, provided mixed results.   

Posted by m6beds in Benefits of Napping, M6 Beds, napping, Power Naps
Why sleepless or disrupted nights are bad for your health

Why sleepless or disrupted nights are bad for your health

Not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling grumpy and irritable the next day, but did you know if can also be bad for your health?

Without sleep, we wouldn’t survive very long. Even after just one night of disrupted sleep many people will experience a negative impact on their mood and mental functioning. This is because our bodies use the time that we sleep to perform some very important jobs that are vital to our wellbeing.

Why is sleep so important?

Our brains use those valuable hours that we are asleep to process everything it has learnt during the day and for the body to restore and repair itself.

Just a few important processes that happen whilst we sleep include:

  • The stress hormone, cortisol, lowers.
  • Your brain creates long-term memories.
  • Hormones are released.
  • Cells in your body grow and repair.
  • Your immune system fights inflammation and infection.

What problems can sleep deprivation cause?

Prolonged periods of disrupted sleep or sleep deprivation will not only cause extreme fatigue but can also be a real danger to our health and wellbeing.

Just a few of the health problems that can be caused by sleep deprivation include:

  • Impaired memory
  • Weakened immunity
  • Mood swings
  • Mental health problems like anxiety and depression
  • Drowsiness
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure resulting in a risk of heart disease
  • Higher risk of diabetes

It is said that the optimal amount of sleep required by the average adult is somewhere between 6 and 8 hours a night. If you are regularly getting less sleep than this then you may find yourself yawning a lot and feeling very drowsy and irritable during the day, sure signs that you’re sleep deprived.

Getting enough sleep is vital to your health, and the average person will spend one third of their life in bed, so it’s worth investing in a bed, mattress, and bedding that are comfortable and inviting.

Posted by m6beds in M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses, napping, Pillows, Right Pillow, Sleep, Sleep Better, sleeping position, Snoozing, The Right Mattress
The advantages and disadvantages of napping

The advantages and disadvantages of napping

Napping isn’t just for old people; young people can also enjoy the benefits as long as those naps are taken at the right time of day and not for too long.

Often naps are essential for us to recharge out batteries and increase alertness for the times when we need it such as when driving. Driving while sleepy is very dangerous when quick reaction times and awareness are essential.

Another benefit of napping can be felt in better performance at work if this has been affected by lack of sleep and tiredness. To get that quality nap time during the working day however can be difficult and sleep experts’ advice that naps should be taken no later than 2pm for day workers to avoid negative effects which bring us to some of the disadvantages.

Napping for longer than 10 minutes can increase the feeling of grogginess you get when your sleep is disturbed at night and this can end up having the opposite of the positive effects described earlier.

Sleeping too long in the day and too late in the afternoon can also have an impact on your sleep when it really counts at night.

So by all means don’t be afraid to indulge in a nap to catch up on some sleep and improve those energy levels but like everything else this should done in moderation.

Posted by m6beds in Bedroom, Better Night’s Sleep, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses, napping, Pillow Choice, Pillows, Right Pillow, Sleep, Snoozing, The Right Mattress