Who doesn’t love to cuddle up on the couch for a quick nap? I can sleep for 10 hours at a stretch when I am stressed out. My mother disapproves of an afternoon nap saying that it makes you age early. All I know is that if you want to take a siesta wake up before 3 o’clock to keep your cycle right. So, is it good to snooze in the afternoon? Is too much of sleep harmful to health?

A good night’s sleep is important to wake up healthy and refreshed. In the same way, a mid-day nap can improve your health,enhance your productivity and ease stress. Hence, it is not just for babies and the elderly a good rest in the afternoon is healthy for all. Are the said benefits scientifically proven? Of course, they are. Some Greek researchers conducted a 6 year experiment on men and women of age group 20-80 who had no severe medical condition. The results showed that those who took a nap of at least half an hour thrice a week had 37% reduced risk of heart disease than those never snoozed. However, sleeping in the day time do not reduce the importance of getting enough physical activity in the rest of the day.

  1. Stress Relief- After the morning’s toil your brain slows down by mid afternoon. It asks for rest though you cannot hear it. A beauty nap of 20-30 minutes can be more than welcome for your brain to remain agile till night.
  2. Alertness and better performance- You feel charged up for the rest of the evening to do cumbersome tasks. For optimized performance, increased vigilance and mental alertness some rest in the afternoon is important.
  3. Enhances your mood- Siesta is like a fragrant spa to your body to lift up your mood.
  4. Improves your cognition and grasping powers- You know that if you miss sleep today you need to get that tomorrow. Waking up early in the morning will affect your concentration, memory, patience and creativity. Fresh ideas may flash only when your brain is fresh and relaxed.
  5. Reduces headaches owing to migraines.
  6. Gets rid of fatigue- You know that caffeine is not good for health. But when you are tired you automatically think of the scent of freshly brewed coffee to get yourself going until you wind up. Fatigue ultimately leads to moodiness, hot temper, aggression, stress. A small nap in the afternoon will wipe out the drowsiness, fatigue and makes you forget your coffee mug.
  7. Regulates your metabolism- Weight loss can receive a boost if you take a siesta.
  8. Increases your productivity- A tiring day makes you to hit the bed early. You know what I mean!
  9. And finally and most importantly, a mid-day nap means reduced risk of death from heart Disease!!

It is recommended for you to limit your night’s sleep to 8 hours and take a small nap in the afternoon.  Your afternoon nap should be somewhere around 15-30 minutes ideally and practically and should be taken 8 hours after waking up. Four in the evening is the deadline for mid-day nap. Avoid caffeine in the evening for a good night’s sleep. Also, too much sleep is found to reduce the life span in people. Well, never hesitate to set a loud alarm clock if you are a lover of sleep like me and put it somewhere not easily reachable.

-Aparna  K V
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