15 Ways Taking a Nap Will Change Your Life

Remember when we used to hate naps? How many children have had full-on tantrums, refusing to get some shut-eye because of major FOMO? It feels like not much has changed

Photo: Unsplash/PeterBucks

Photo: Unsplash/PeterBucks

Remember when we used to hate naps? How many children have had full-on tantrums, refusing to get some shut-eye because of major FOMO? It feels like not much has changed. As adults, we generally refuse to take advantage of the rare opportunities we come across to get small moments of shut-eye because we are “too busy” and aren’t kids anymore. This is part of the reason we burn out. Naps are not only a little bit of free self-care you can insert into your over-scheduled days (if you can schedule so much, you can schedule a 20-minute snooze somewhere within 24 hours, no?), but it does wonders for your health. Here are 15 life-changing things that can happen when you take a moment to take a nap.

Your Mood Will Improve

We could all use a mood booster while working several hours each day. We have become accustomed to running around non-stop, and not stopping to think about how we are feeling. Just the idea of stopping, disconnecting from tech for a moment, and doing nothing (while you also get much-needed rest) is a fresh change to your entire schedule. Then add in the idea of feeling rested, and you have a potent combination that will change your day-to-day mood, free of charge, and simply. You don’t have to sleep for a long time either — 15 to 20 minutes is the recommended time.

You’ll Be More Alert


We need to rest. We’re humans, after all — not robots. If we don’t get enough rest, we risk not being alert, which can become very harmful. You want to be alert, refreshed, and fully able to take on the day, and all it entails. Taking a nap will help you feel more alert during the day. So, although you have to stop what you’re doing at some point during your usual activities, taking that brief nap will ensure the rest of your workday (and day in general) is of better quality. You will be alert, so you’ll get more done, the right way.

You’ll Have a Better Memory


We’ve all been so tired, that we seem to almost forget our own name. We still have to work, but it’s much harder when we are exhausted and can’t seem to remember anything. It forces us to go back and check twice, and try to do things over again. It often feels like we’re working against ourselves. Part of it is that we need more sleep. A nap has been proven to improve our learning; memory retention; and fact, face, and name recognition. This means that you won’t have to pretend to know the name of your co-worker from the other department — you will actually remember it.

Your Hormones Will Be Happy

Not getting enough sleep and/or getting quality sleep can wreak havoc on our bodies. If done regularly, lack of sleep can shorten your life expectancy, leading to obesity, and increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It also weakens your immune system, which leaves you susceptible to all kinds of other illnesses. When you take the time to take cat naps, power naps, or any other kind of nap, you are really allowing your body to heal and regenerate. In fact, a nap reverses the hormonal impact of a poor night’s sleep. So make the time! Your body will thank you.

Your Creativity Will Be Enhanced

We all want to be creative. There is no better feeling than coming up with something innovative, interesting, and cool. Some of our careers depend on it. We are often asked to continuously come up with concepts, those which are different, unique, and that will help our companies make money. Taking naps comes with a number of health benefits. In fact, did you know that taking naps could boost your creativity? A study showed that those who take naps are more creative. This is because while you’re asleep, your brain clears out old memories, giving you space to come up with those great ideas you want.

You’ll Avoid Burnout

We live in a country that demands us to constantly be on the go. We praise those who are always busy. We try to fill our schedules up with no downtime, except when we have to sleep. Humans aren’t meant to function that way! Other countries have siestas, and they are better for it. If you drive a car until it has no gas, and think you’re going to keep driving it afterward, you’ re wrong. Try to think of your body in the same way. If you don’t have the fuel, in terms of adequate sleep, you are going to burn out. Naps help keep this from happening.

You’ll Boost Your Productivity


Siestas work because people go home, and take a nap (usually 60 to 90 minutes), in the middle of the afternoon, when we in the United States normally have our mid-day slump. That is the time when we rush to get coffee and snail around the workplace like zombies. When you take a nap, it allows you to take a break, get some much-needed rest, and return to work refreshed. We might not be allowed to do this in this country, so find time to take your nap some other time during the day. Just make sure to take it if, and when, you can. It will make you more productive at work.

You Won’t Be So Drowsy (Duh)

I’ve held a lot of office jobs. There’s nothing worse than the mid-day slump, which hits at about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. You literally fall asleep at your desk, then go with co-workers to the nearest Starbucks, and pray that the large dose of caffeine makes a difference. If you make it a point to start taking naps, it can help reduce that daytime drowsiness. The ideal time to take a nap is 2 pm to 3 pm when that slump naturally happens. It is advised to not snooze after 3, as it can interfere with your regular nighttime sleep.

Your Blood Pressure Will Decrease

Having high blood pressure is very bad for your health. It can increase your chances of having a blood clot, kidney disease, a stroke, or a heart attack (this handy chart will help you see where your blood pressure should be). Taking a nap seems like such a little, unnecessary thing to do, but it has big health benefits. Who knew? In fact, having a leisurely snooze can lower your blood pressure by 3 millimeters, for each hour you nap. This information was discovered during a study which is set to be released this month. It is amazing to see how many facets of your health you can change and improve by just adding a little bit more sleep to your day.

You’ll Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease


By this point, you realize that naps are seriously underrated. Why do we fight the idea of taking them? Why do we instead spend a ton of money and effort finding other ways to feel rested, happy, and healthy? Napping is free and super effective at improving our well-being. In fact, it has been shown that those small moments of rest can reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as heart-related death. Inversely, consistently not getting enough rest increases your risk for heart disease. And, while we are talking about getting adequate sleep, you really need to aim for as close to 7 hours of rest (minimum!) per night.

Your Physical Health Will Improve

We are a tired society. How many times have you said “I’m tired” in a single day? How many times have you heard others say it? We are all tired. When we are trying to do much more with the time we are given each working day, we often compensate by sleeping less. Then, we try to squeeze in a solid workout, all the while feeling sluggish. It has been proven that taking naps improves your physical stamina, helps with avoiding obesity, and improves your physical health. Naps are considered a luxury, but they actually seem more like a necessity.

You’ll Be More Relaxed

A lot of the things which are good for us seem like far-off dreams. Enough time in the day to do everything, a perfectly healthy diet and enough restful sleep are three big ones. We want to relax but have forgotten how to accomplish that, along the way. Naps are a heaven-send; they give us that relaxation which seems too fleeting. Just 15 to 20 minutes will help you feel refreshed, calm your mind, and just feel better. I instantly feel so much better after waking up from a nap; anything I was worried about before just seems so much less important and stress-inducing.

You’ll Learn More

Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, napping might help that, if only a little bit. While taking naps won’t cause you to learn a new language instantly, or suddenly become stellar at advanced mathematics, it has been proven to increase learning. We are totally here for anything that will help us learn new information. After all, isn’t life about always learning and growing? Not only do those brief-yet-awesome moments of rest help you learn, but they also help increase your focus, ability to concentrate, and memory, so you’ll actually remember all this new info! Yet another example of how naps should be a part of everyone’s life.

You Won’t Be So Stressed

Stress. It’s yet another negative thing that’s present in most of our lives. Being stressed out is something we all experience, and we often find ourselves wondering how to feel less frazzled. Just like fussy children, adults can benefit from a solid nap. As grown women and men, we have been conditioned to ignore those times when we are tired, stressed, and, well, fussy, because it’s the “grown-up” thing to do. But actually acting like a child is the adult thing to do, in this case. A study showed that napping reduces stress, while also offering other great health benefits.

You’ll Be Taking Good Care of Yourself

In addition to the multitude of really awesome health benefits to taking naps, both mental and physical, probably the biggest, and most obvious, is that it’s a way to practice self-care. When you take the time to put yourself, your health, and emotional and mental needs first, you are practicing self-care. You are allowing your mind and body to rest, make important adjustments, to heal and to regenerate. If you’re not going to get the traditional 8 hours of sleep a night, you really should opt for a mid-day nap whenever possible. It’s not frivolous or means you aren’t a hard worker. It doesn’t suggest you’re lazy — it’s a healthy necessity.

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