Napping Day is coming up on Monday, March 12,
the day after we start Daylight Savings Time.
Even losing one hour of sleep has an impact on us.
In fact, on the day after Canadians set the clocks forward by one hour, there are 8% more traffic accidents.
Although not everyone can nap, or benefit from naps,
napping can be one of the most effective ways to manage sleep debt and
combat daytime sleepiness & fatigue.
In addition, naps can increase:
* memory consolidation
* performance & productivity
* positive emotions, including energy
* emotional control and decreased impulsivity
* tolerance for frustration
Although research subjects may not feel better after a nap and don’t think their performance has improved, objective measurements prove that it has.
Even naps as short as 10 minutes are beneficial.
If you’re not getting enough sleep and think that napping may be for you :
- Keep it short. Short naps during the day (less than 30 minutes) can improve alertness without keeping you from falling asleep at night or preventing stages of slow wave sleep overnight.
The most effective seem to be 10 minute naps or 20 minute naps.
Recently Faraut’s team reported that a 30 minute nap can even improve immune health.
Set a time if you need to so you’re not asleep more than 30 minutes.
- Lie Down. Napping sitting up is not as deep and refreshing as napping lying down.
- Avoid napping in the evening.
- It’s fine to have more than one nap a day.
Try experimenting with different nap lengths to see what is most helpful for you.
And celebrate Napping Day… by napping!
For effective, practical stress management skills that enhance health and performance, check out the Stress Management & High Performance Clinic programs at http://www.SelfRegulationSkills.ca.
Kathy Somers, R.Kin, BCB