Afternoon sleep: the benefits you didn't know about
Who doesn't feel the need to charge the battery during lunch break? Only 10 minutes of sleep can have a refreshing effect on the body. There are situations where an afternoon nap can be disorienting and deprived of energy, for the simplest possible reason.
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Afternoon naps are seen by many in modern society as a sign of an imbalanced lifestyle, or even a characteristic of "lazy" people. However, studies show that post-work naps, also known as "naps" or "power naps," can have positive health benefits, especially to the brain.
This knowledge now raises questions about "power naps": when is the best time to fall asleep in the afternoon? Who can benefit from this sleep? How long does it take? In many cultures, siesta is a well-established cultural element, so after lunch the activity is paused and people rest for a while. Therefore, it is a good starting point for determining the ideal time to take an afternoon nap. The ideal time for this sleep is after lunch, but somewhere before 3 pm.
After a meal, energy levels, concentration, and productivity decrease, especially if the meal is long. Seen this way, the afternoon may be ideal for a "power nap" if the program allows. At the same time, sleeping after 3 pm can cause problems with your normal nighttime sleep, so it's a good idea to consider the time you schedule this sleep. How long will a good afternoon nap last? There has been much debate about the ideal length of this type of sleep, but so far there is consensus.
The explanation comes from normal sleep physiology and sleep stages. Experts believe that you should sleep for up to 30 minutes to be energized, awake, and enjoy the benefits of a power nap.
From a physiological point of view, we believe that the transition between sleep stages 1 and 2 provides the greatest benefit of sleep during the day. In sleep stage 1, we rarely fall asleep and can easily wake up, while in sleep stage 2, the brain prepares for deep sleep and slows down brain activity. As we go through this stage and reach the stage of deep sleep, waking up at this stage will not have the beneficial effects we expect.
Anyone who suddenly wakes up from deep sleep is confused, has difficulty adapting to reality, and has periods of persistent energy deficit. Therefore, the ideal period for an afternoon nap should avoid the transition to deep sleep. For most people, the limit is about 30 minutes. For this reason, we believe that the ideal time for a "power nap" is 20 to 30 minutes.
However, afternoon naps are not suitable for everyone as they can interfere with night sleep. Avoid such sleep, especially if you have insomnia or have difficulty falling asleep at night, as it can exacerbate your symptoms at night. In summary, in some situations, afternoon naps are a good idea, as time permits, as they not only increase our energy and concentration, but also reduce stress and anxiety.