SUCCESS: 7 Benefits of Afternoon Naps

Benefits of napping

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With this week’s triple digit heat, you’re probably feeling exhausted all the time. Don’t fight it. Give in. There’s a reason people in hot climates from Central America to Africa sleep during the middle of the day, has 7 surprising benefits of an afternoon nap. Here area a few of our favorite nap benefits:


1. Provides a memory boost

In one study, particpants who napped regularly for 10-, 20-, and 30-minute periods improved their performance on cognitive tests of memory and vigilance conducted in the subsequent two and a half hours. While those who napped more than 20 minutes suffered from grogginess, the 10-minute nappers experienced an immediate boost in performance.

2. Lowers blood pressure

A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that the “siesta habit” is associated with a 37 percent reduction in coronary mortality, possibly because of reduced cardiovascular stress associated with daytime sleep. While they admit that they don’t know whether the benefit came from the nap itself, a reclined position, or merely just the expectation of a nap, they concluded that this decrease in blood pressure may be why lower coronary mortality has been found in those who take naps.

5. Enhances creativity

The mind loves a nap. Daytime sleep can, “enhance creative thinking, boost cognitive processing, improve memory recall and generally clear out the cobwebs,” James Maas and Rebecca Robbins, co-founders of Sleep for Success, wrote in The New York Times.

6. Boosts willpower

Things can be tough when you’re tired, especially when it comes to matters of willpower which is often highest in the morning when the brain is fresh. As Psychology Todayreports, when you’re sleep deprived, your brain has an especially hard time ignoring distractions and controlling impulses. Their advice? “A mid-day “power nap” can reverse the usual willpower drain from morning to night,” adding that a nap can reduce stress, improve mood, and restore focus.

Read the other benefits, including a  surprising one about coffee at 7 surprising benefits of an afternoon nap.