Depending on your viewpoint, napping can either be a great way to relax a little or an indication of bone idleness. Sure, we tend to sprawl out on our double mattresses at the end of the day, but can many things beat the feeling of escaping reality if only for half an hour or so?
The Benefits of Napping
The truth is there is no distinct sleeping pattern for the human race. 8 hours sleep when the sun goes down is widely accepted as “normal” but take the people at each end of the age spectrum for example. Babies, young children and the elderly tend to take regular naps and it doesn’t seem to do them any harm at all. In fact, there are a whole range of benefits and interesting facts to catching forty winks.
- Some of the greatest minds to ever live championed short dozes. Albert Einstein believed that little snoozes helped his mind function better and that worked quite well to say the least.
- It’s estimated that new parents miss out on up to 750 hours of sleep in their first 12 months as a parent. It is even recommended that they nap as their child sleeps to help them relax and reduce fatigue and stress. A nice bonus at 2pm when baby has only just gone down.
- Many experts think that even at the age of 5 years, children require 11-13 hours of sleep each day – that’s a long time to spend single bed mattresses. Nurseries and playgroups provide nap times and appropriate places to lay tired heads to help make up this number.
- Some doctors have been known to actually prescribe and recommend taking naps for people impacted by narcolepsy – a much better outcome than huge, unswallowable pills.
- Siestas are more common than you think. Many countries around the world wrap up business for a designated time each day to focus on respite. This includes Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, The Philippines and Nigeria – it really is a global phenomenon.
- Some suggest that regular catnaps are just as important as good eating and exercise. They claim that they contribute to overall sleep and rest which decreases the risk of depression, obesity and heart disease. Taking a half-hour slumber break three times a week results in a 37% reduction in the chances of heart disease according to research.
- Some of the biggest global franchises have jumped on the napping bandwagon. There is no nice mattress on offer but Google, Nike and Ben & Jerry’s offer special sleeping rooms where employees can catch the train to the land of nod – even if it isn’t for a long time.
- Dozing off on the job is obviously something to avoid – unless you work in Japan. In the land of the rising sun, drifting off at work is considered a sign of exhaustion from giving all effort to the job. Some workers even pretend to be asleep to impress bosses!
- Single bed mattresses and double mattresses are the most common sleeping surfaces worldwide. Naps don’t always conform to bedtime rules though. Unusual napping locations includes trees (in them, not underneath), toilets and even bus stops at any given time of day.
With all of this being said, it can perhaps be argued that naps not only offer a much needed recharge, they may also be beneficial to overall health and wellbeing.
The Unfortunate Drawbacks of Napping
Of course, we know by now that nothing in this life is perfect. If you are a partaker of a power napping, there are a few negatives to consider.
- Napping should be limited to less than an hour and a half so it doesn’t impact sleeping at night so much. Snoozing for 15-30 minutes is usually a good rule of thumb to provide refreshment and an energy boost.
- Many people still associate napping with laziness and lack of ambition. Whilst this is not necessarily true, regular midday dozers should be prepared to be stigmatised in some cases.
- People who suffer from insomnia or other sleep deprivation issues may only make matters worse if they drop off in the day. Older nappers may also be doing so because of Parkinson’s disease, depression or chronic pain so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
So, whether you take refuge in sleeping bags, hammocks, single or double mattresses, or even king sized four poster beds, never be worried that your nap is the result of laziness. Unless of course it is but I certainly won’t be judging you.