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The 3 psychological benefits of napping

The 3 psychological benefits of napping

April 1, 2024

The adaptation to modern life throughout history has made humans have lost the habit of being polyphasic as far as the dream is concerned. In fact, there seems to be evidence that, like the rest of the animal kingdom, primitive man also alternated cycles of sleep and wakefulness throughout the day.

There are many studies that seem to indicate that take a nap After eating it brings many benefits for health and mind. So, napping will have a beneficial effect on your well-being and can increase your alertness, your concentration or your productivity.

Psychological benefits of napping: discovering the art of 'taking a nap'

As we already read in the article "7 psychological signals that indicate that you are not sleeping enough", the dream is absolutely essential to have good health.

Since much research shows that napping can cause an improvement in psychological well-being, some companies such as Google, Nike, AOL or The New York Times give their employees time to take a nap in the office with maximum comfort. The "napping" ('nap' in English) serves to recover energy and be of better mood. Companies that have adopted the "siesta culture" have armchairs or even beds to rest for a while.

The historical origin of the siesta

For some experts in the field, the siesta has its origin in the eleventh century and comes from one of the rules of the monastic order of San Benito: rest and tranquility in the sixth hour (canoniga), which was the period of time between twelve and the three. This norm made reference to that the religious had to lie down in total silence to rest and to recover energies for the rest of the day. There the word "sextear" or "save the sixth" had its origin. Over time, this custom was extended and adopted in other monasteries and the general population. Although it seems that it is only a Spanish tradition, the siesta is also present in parts of southern Europe and Latin America, in China, Taiwan, the Philippines or India.

The siesta also seems to have a physiological origin, since it is a natural consequence of the blood drop after copious meals, which causes drowsiness .

Next we will discover exactly what are the two beneficial effects of taking a nap for our psychic health.

1. Improves memory

The University of Haifa (Israel) and the Sleep Laboratory of the Sheba Medical Center (Tel Aviv) demonstrated that napping brings benefits to memory. This study, in collaboration with researchers from the Department of Psychology of the University of Montreal (Canada), concluded that napping plays an important role in the consolidation of memory and learning.

2. Increase your ability to learn

Complementing the positive effects on your memory, taking a nap also has positive effects on learning ability. The University of California provided evidence that by resting your mind during your nap, we are helping our brain to learn more things after waking up .

In the same line, the research carried out by the Universities of Harvard and the University of New York proved that taking a short nap improves considerably the memory and learning, but also has a positive effect on the humor .

3. Take a nap and work better

According to NASA studies, taking a nap improves alertness, performance, reduces errors and accidents at work. In this study, conducted to its pilots and astronauts, it was found that a nap of 26 minutes is able to increase performance up to 35% and alert level by 55%.

If the "cabezadita" is 40 minutes it improves the alert status by up to 100%. Attention and reaction time also seem to benefit from napping according to a study by Kimberly Cote, professor and neuropsychologist at Brock University. According to his study, people who do not use this "relaxing moment", they may feel more fatigued, have a higher probability of making bad decisions and a greater risk of suffering occupational accidents . Naps can increase alertness in the period immediately after nap, and this state can extend until a few hours later in the day.

Some tips for a good nap

  • The ideal is a short nap, about 20 or 30 minutes. This time is enough to benefit from better alertness and greater performance without feeling stunned.
  • To avoid napping affecting sleep patterns during the night and to avoid complications when falling asleep at night, it is preferable not to take a nap too late in the day.
  • Caring for the environment at the time of napping will greatly affect the time of rest and the ability to fall asleep. To make the most of this time, you have to look for a comfortable place, with little light, without noise and with a pleasant temperature.

I Decided to Sleep for 4 Hours a Day, See What Happened (April 2024).

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