What is the purpose of napping? Well, ideally, there wouldn’t actually be any purpose or reason to do it at all. A nap is defined as a short period of sleep engaged in outside of the normal hours during which one sleeps. What this represents, therefore, is a person catching up on sleep. So the first and probably most important point to stress is that before looking into how to nap properly, you should consider how to optimize your nightly sleeping schedule.
Why do We Nap?
There are many ways to go about this, some related to sleep and some not. If you feel the need to nap around the middle of the afternoon, this could well be because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before; however, it could also be something to do with your diet. You cannot underestimate the importance of a proper breakfast for ensuring you see out the day with enough energy. Focus on slow-release energy foods for breakfast and ensure there is plenty of protein represented.
If sleep, instead of diet, is the problem, then there are many things you can try. There isn’t space to go into all the insomnia-tackling advice here but, suffice it to say there could be many things having a bearing on your ability to sleep well. You might consider rectifying things like the time you get up every day, what time you stop drinking caffeine, and what you eat before bed. You could also proactively try to address the problem with sleep-aiding nutrition. Certain health products such as hydrogen water and bedtime herbal supplements are all things to try.
Of course, sometimes you really do need to nap during the day. Having stressed that addressing any nighttime sleep problems is always the first thing you should turn to, if you still find yourself needing more energy to make it through the day, then napping could be the answer. Nevertheless, there is a proper way and a bad way to go about it. Furthermore, napping itself comes with a range of benefits – and drawbacks.
The Benefits of Napping
Naturally enough, the benefits of napping involve the energy boost it gives you during the day. This benefit can be nullified however if you nap badly (or for too long) and feel groggy for a period afterwards. Do it right though and not only can you get a midafternoon boost, but you can also regulate your body to be able to do so with regularity every day. Health product experts Synergy Science, who provide many health products that help to address insomnia, say that any problems with your sleep at night will probably also apply to your nap. Accordingly, napping is no substitute for properly addressing sleep issues.
The Drawbacks of Napping
The drawbacks of napping all revolve around irregularity. In order to nap properly, you need to be able to do it for a specific length of time and generally at the same time every day. Failing to do this is a sure way to sleep too long, to waste your waking hours, to further hinder your nighttime sleep, and to feel groggy (or experience “sleep inertia”) for a period afterwards. This type of napping is of no use to anybody.
Many people nap, and there is no denying that it can be beneficial. However, this does not mean that it does not require the same discipline you would apply to getting a good night’s sleep. Napping is certainly not simply flopping into bed when you feel like you need it.