Does napping have the same benefits for babies, students, and working professionals?
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Dr Jane Herbert, University of Sheffield, says, “those who sleep after learning, learn well; those not sleeping don’t learn at all. ”
Afternoon naps for babies are commonly heard of, but in most cultures, it is accepted that we grow out of the need for naps when we reach adulthood. However, there was no scientific proof of this until recently, scientists have discovered that naps still have numerous benefits to growing children and adults alike.
We found some startling insights about the benefits of napping to students and working professionals.
Benefits Of Napping To Students
Preschoolers often nap but middle schoolers, with their energy levels, do not. It’s hard to sleep when they need to play football.
A recent study conducted on preschoolers found that students who took naps learnt and retain information better than the children who did not nap.
That being said, college students, who are often sleep-deprived, and pulling all-nighters for exams may find that naps are extremely beneficial to them.
Something very important for students. Brain activity is commonly associated with staying awake. However, naps induce REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep which increases brain activity.
Students who take short 15 -20-minute naps help their brain to clear short term memory and retain more information.
A sixty-minute nap increases alertness for up to ten hours. Students who regularly take naps, will benefit from a boost in alertness and cram in more study time. Drinking coffee keeps the mind alert for six-hours, but once the effect wears off, you feel more tired than before. Naps, however, help you achieve REM sleeps that repairs body tissue and keeps you alert. The effect lasts longer, with no side effects.
While studying for finals, I would take 15-minute naps if I started to feel tired every two hours or so when my concentration would waver. I would wake up feeling alert and could concentrate better. I would study like this for eight or ten hours a day. However, I noticed that if I slept longer than that, I would need to sleep for an hour and a half before I can shake off the sleepiness.
So, well-timed naps are the most effective. The sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes, if you take a nap longer than 20 minutes, you will start a sleep cycle. That is why we sometimes experience sleep inertia or feel groggy after a half-hour nap.
Naps are known to boost mood, a study by NASA on sleepy military pilots found that a 40-minute nap improves mood by 100%.
The only way to explain it is that naps help your brain hit the reset button, so you wake up refreshed and in a good mood.
Salvadore Dali, Albert Einstein, and more famous artists, scientists, and thinkers attribute creativity with naps.
Dali said that he would often wake up from a nap with a new idea.
Stress in college is induced mostly through numerous assignments and deadlines, alongside part-time jobs and projects, not the mention tests. What about those internships and job offers? It is stressful, but if napping is made a part of students’ lives, they would be better equipped to handle all that stress.
After all, sleep deprivation and poor diet heighten the effects of stress. Naps help the body recover from sleepless nights.
Helps You Recover From An All-nighter
Students generally stay up all night studying, and then attend classes sleepy and charged with coffee.
Taking a nap instead would help boost, alertness and memory so pulling an all-nighter is less daunting.
Boosts Immune System
Naps boost your immune system and improve your health. The body produces interleukin 1, a protein that plays a central role in the regulation of the immune system.
Benefits Of Napping To Working Professionals And Teachers
Do the benefits of napping extend into adulthood? They do. Adults that take naps, experience more peace, reduced stress and anxiety, improved concentration, mood and alertness.
Today fewer working professionals can get the required number of hours of sleep. Many are held up with jobs that demand 10 or more hours of work a day. The stress it builds up both physically – because of lack of sleep – and mentally – because of the workload – can have disastrous effects in the long run.
Naps are a great way to recover lost sleep and give the energy boost you need. However, the full seven to eight hours of sleep is still necessary to stay healthy.
Boosts Alertness And Concentration
Your concentration naturally dips mid-day, and a nap will leave you refreshed. It can increase alertness and concentration, giving you more time to work.
Much like the benefits students get from naps, adults can experience boosts in memory after a short nap.
These benefits of napping for working professionals are becoming more evident to big companies. A survey found that 6% of workplaces had designated nap spots for employees in 2011. The number is only growing.
Google has built futuristic nap pods on rent at their Mountain View campus.
Nike has also built nap rooms for meditation.
So contrary to popular belief, naps do have the same or similar benefits to adults as they have for students.
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