Instead of grabbing one more cup of coffee or trying to tape your eyes open, try power naps. They offer several benefits, including boosting your energy. Most people set an alarm for 20 minutes since sleeping too long can leave you feeling groggy and sometimes sick to your stomach. The reason may be caused by entering deep sleep after 20-30 minutes, making waking up difficult and jarring.
Some benefits of a power nap are cognitive functioning and improved memory.
No matter how young or old you are, you’ll be more alert after a power nap. Just resting for as little as six minutes can enhance your learning ability. While the reason for this isn’t well-understood, scientists at Georgetown University’s Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging think it might be from activity on the right side of your brain they found when monitoring people resting. The scientists hypothesized that during naps the right brain was housekeeping. It was getting all memory functions organized.
You’ll boost your heart health with a power nap.
Recent research by Dr. Manolis Kallistrato, a cardiologist at Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula, Greece, found that taking a midday nap reduced high blood pressure and the damage to the arteries and heart it causes. The study involved 212 subjects. The average age was 62. One in four subjects smoked, were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or both. They were split into two groups. One group took afternoon naps, while the other didn’t. The systolic blood pressure drop with the napping group was 5.3 mm Hg. It rivals the difference that making some lifestyle changes provides.
Lack of sleep can cause cell damage.
When you sleep, your cells repair themselves and clean out old, dying, or defective cells. Cell damage speeds up the aging process. It’s even worse when the damage is in the brain’s energy center, the mitochondria. The more cell damage, the higher potential there is for chronic disease since most begin at the cellular level. Sleep deprivation causing cellular damage affects the lungs, small intestines, and liver the most. Power naps can help prevent the problem and, in some cases, reverse it.
- Your power nap should be earlier in the day. If you take it too late at night it can interfere with your nighttime sleep. Always prioritize adequate sleep at night over a power nap.
- If you’re getting more colds than usual, it may be due to a weak immune system. Try taking power naps to reduce stress markers and improve the functioning of the immune system.
- Low testosterone levels affect the body in many ways, one of which is impeding muscle development. Studies show that lack of sleep can lower testosterone levels and lower human growth hormone—the fountain of youth hormone.
- It’s probably no surprise that lack of sleep can make you grumpy and put you in a negative mood. Take a power nap to reverse it and wake up feeling refreshed, ready to work, and far more friendly.
For more information, contact us today at Thrive Fitness Atlanta