Can napping help you feel less tired?

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You may not know this but more than 85% of mammals sleep for short periods of time, making humans the minority as we separate sleep and awake (generally) into two periods per day.

There are 3 different types of napping:

Planned napping is usually something people do before they actually become very tired and need to sleep.

Emergency napping - an example of this can be when driving and being forced to stop for a nap.

Habitual napping - this is where someone takes a regular daily nap as part of their lifestyle/routine.

Benefits

A National Sleep Foundation article says that:

  • Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.
  • Naps can increase alertness in the period directly following the nap and may extend alertness a few hours later in the day.
  • Scheduled napping has also been prescribed for those who are affected by narcolepsy.
  • Napping has psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.

Napping can have a negative impact on your sleep cycle so it's important to monitor how each nap effects your daily sleep and wellbeing.

Some studies have shown that short 8-10 minutes naps can produce notifiable benefits in brain function and a reduced feeling of tiredness.

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