You might have perfected the Saturday afternoon pre-party nap, but for most of us, taking an hour out in the middle of a weekday to sleep isn’t part of the timetable.
But it should be.
As babies we’re all about the regular sleeping intervals, but adult life puts a spanner in the napping works and to be honest, leaves us all feeling frazzled.
So here are 10 reasons why science says we should all be taking more naps.
1. You will argue less.
A study from the Rotterdam School of Management found that even the loss of a single night’s sleep, can cause “unwanted” erratic and disruptive behaviour at work. So bunker down under your desk and tell your boss we said hi.
2. You will be happier.
Because scientists are heroes, they have worked out that taking more naps actually makes us happier (and it isn’t just because we get to spend all our time in bed). Professor Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire found that daytime dozing actually makes us happier and improves wellbeing.
3. You improve your heart health.
Napping isn’t just beneficial in the short-term but actually could be a way to reduce blood pressure and stave off heart attacks, according to research from Greece. The 2015 study looked at 400 men and found that noon-time nappers had on average 5% lower blood pressure than colleagues who stayed awake all day.
4. You can get by on less sleep at night.
Margaret Thatcher famously claimed to only sleep for four hours a night, making up for it during the day. But research has actually shown that a power nap of between 60 and 90 minutes can charge your brain as much as a full eight hours overnight. That is, as long as you’re dreaming.
5. You will be more alert.
A NASA study found higher levels of alertness in pilots after a 40-minute snooze compared to pilots who got no rest. Even just 20 minutes has been shown to perk up shift workers. Well if NASA says it is true, we’re not going to disagree.
6. You will feel better.
Just ask any toddler, and they will tell you, a nap is a guaranteed way to turn that frown upside down. Oh and just in case you don’t trust a two-year-old to tell you how to live your life, science says it is a well-documented mood booster too.
7. You will be less stressed.
If you’re not a natural napper (firstly, we have a few questions) and you struggle to drift off in twenty-minute bursts, do not fear, because even a period of resting in bed is conducive to lowering stress levels according to a 2007 study.
8. You will be more productive afterwards.
Those Spaniards have had this whole thing nailed since day one. Research has shown that siestas can actually improve work output, despite taking a huge break in the middle of the day. So instead of being grounds for dismissal, taking a nap at work could actually be helping you churn out more.
9. You can have some sneaky afternoon delight.
Ok so when we said take a nap, we all secretly know that an adult nap is always better if it involves someone else. What is better than a Sunday afternoon nap with your bed partner of choice? After all, orgasms are great for your health, so you owe it to yourselves.
10. You have earned it.
And who needs a better reason than that?