The Unexpected Benefits of Napping
Written by: Samantha Colicchio, Liquid I.V. Brand Storyteller
Remember naptime? That dreamy, blissful hour of the day in nursery school when the teacher would turn out the lights, tuck you into your sleeping bag, and play soft piano music to soothe you to sleep? Turns out, napping isn’t just for kids.
Inconvenient as it may sound, we’re biologically wired to snooze in the middle of the day. It seems our pre-Industrial Revolution ancestors often slept in “segments” at night, and supplemented their lost sleep with mid-day naps. We also biologically tend to experience a dip in energy about 6-7 hours after waking up—perfect for nap time.
If you’re able to sneak off to your car or a conference room around 2PM, you may experience some startling benefits that could change the trajectory of your whole afternoon. Read on!
Napping can make you happier.
The benefits of napping may include smiling, laughter, and feelings of calm. According to the American Psychological Association, a study at the University of Michigan found that:
“…after waking from a 60-minute midday nap, people were less impulsive and had greater tolerance for frustration than people who watched an hourlong nature documentary instead of sleeping.”
If you’re snapping at your coworker or feeling frustrated about a project gone wrong, a short nap may be the ticket to a better day—for everyone involved.
Napping can make you healthier and safer.
The benefits of napping aren’t just emotional. Making it a habit to take an afternoon doze every day could actually increase your lifespan. According to THRIVE GLOBAL, “In one study of 23,681 Greek men over six years, the participants who napped three times per week had a 37% lower risk of dying from heart disease.”Plus, driving while sleepy decreases your alertness and increases your risk of getting into an accident.
Napping can make you more focused.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, a 20-30-minute nap “provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.” While it may seem strange to leave work to spend 20 minutes sleeping in the middle of the day, you may actually be boosting your productivity!
PSA: Beware of grogginess!
Sleep experts recommend no more than a 30-minute nap, if you want to avoid “sleep intertia”—a fancy word for grogginess. While 60-minute naps may actually provide more benefits in terms of focus and mood, they also put you more at risk for intense sleepiness immediately after your nap.
Absolutely can’t nap?
We get it. Modern society simply isn’t set up for mid-day snoozes. Here are a few things you can do to beat the afternoon slump without actually sleeping it off.
Hydrate. Proper hydration can increase energy levels, clear up brain fog, and boost your overall sense of wellbeing. If you have trouble hydrating properly throughout the day, try Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier. One stick in water can provide 2-3x the hydration of water alone, so you don’t have to refill your water bottle 10 times just to feel alive.
Get better sleep at night. If you have a hard time falling asleep, try Liquid I.V. Sleep. Our natural Sleep Blend of Melatonin, L-Theanine and Valerian root can help ease you into sleep faster. Simply pour a stick into 8 ounces of water, mix, and drink up.
Meditate or rest your eyes. Sitting still, breathing deeply, and focusing your awareness on your body can actually provide enough rest to affect your levels of focus and energy.
Choose tea over coffee. Believe it or not, the high caffeine content in coffee can actually contribute to the afternoon slump. Drinking coffee in the morning can certainly perk you up, but hours later, you’ll be crashing hard. Higher-caffeine tea options like matcha or chai can provide a cleaner energy boost without the crash.