The All Important Nap

Although you may not be 5 years old, there is nothing wrong with being a child at heart, even if that means watching some old cartoon classics every now and then. Some habits from our youthful days can not be broken and instead, continue to evolve at the same rate as our age. Instead of purchasing a toy car, adults may choose to actually buy a nice sports car to achieve the same kick and enjoyment that was rampant as a child. Whether similar habits are productive or destructive is up for debate, but we often let go of one truly rewarding habit from our childhood. The all important nap!
Naps–literally– come in all forms and lengths from the 15 minute cat nap on the couch to the beloved, trance-like sleep achieved from 2 hours of slumber. A nap has the ability to clear our conscience during a busy day. More effective than many temporary stimulants, like coffee, a nap is an essential component to a day dedicated to completing mentally strenuous tasks. According to the Sleep Foundation, the majority of naps can be placed into three main categories: planned, emergency, and habitual. Although all forms are technically beneficial, they vary in circumstance.
Planned naps are fairly self explanatory and are typically used in preparing for future activities. If you plan to stay up later than normal, napping ahead of time will reward you with enough energy to make it through the night. On the other side of the spectrum, lies the emergency nap. This form of nap occurs in a more spontaneous fashion. They result from a sudden sense of tiredness, which is a tell tell sign of sleep deprivation. You want to avoid relying on this form of sleep unless it is truly necessary. In the case that you are driving home from work and find yourself falling asleep behind the wheel, an emergency nap could potentially save your life and the lives of others. Don’t feel ashamed to pull off of the road for 15 minutes to get that extra boost of energy.
Habitual napping is the last major type of slumber. Its simply the process of creating a habit out of napping. Setting aside a portion of your day for a brief nap can prove to be healthy and allow you to get the most out of your day. For this reason, young children may always seem to be full of energy. A nap in the middle of the day gives you a quick recharge without leaving you feeling drowsy. What you may experience after a long, average day of work, is the struggle of getting out of bed the next morning. This may result from you either not having normal sleeping patterns or simply not getting enough sleep period. If you find yourself accustomed to late nights, scheduling a nap during your work days will help prevent mental fatigue and improve overall alertness!
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For more information on naps and other sleeping habits, visit the Sleep Foundation (CLICK HERE)





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