Throughout the world, there are societies which basically shut down in the afternoon to allow people to go home for a siesta. However, this is certainly not the case in the United States, and an afternoon (or morning) nap is usually considered a luxury or a privilege at best. These facts are even more tragic than they initially seem because research has actually proven that napping is not only extremely productive but also entirely natural. More specifically, napping is a normal phenomenon of the circadian rhythm (or the sleep-wake cycle).
As a human being’s day progresses, their degree of focus and alertness naturally decreases whether they have gotten enough sleep the night before or not. Somewhat fortunately, this usually only equates to minor irritation or unhappiness—for past civilizations, problems remaining with remaining focused and alert could easily result in death; naps are capable of causing neurons to fire at maximum capacity again after only fifteen or twenty minutes, and while hunting or gathering, human alertness made it infinitely easier to continue being predators as opposed to prey. But some companies do realize the genuine benefits of naps: both Google and Apple permit and encourage employees to take them at work. Research has proven that short naps enhance both awareness and productivity, so it’s easy to see why it’s a worthwhile endeavor.
Additionally, a University of Colorado Boulder study reveals that children who don’t take naps are less happy and engaged than children who do take naps. Furthermore, non-napping kids experienced more anxiety and demonstrated poorer problem-solving skills. Moreover, it seems as though adults can benefit from napping in all of the same ways which children can. Berkeley research indicates that an hour-long nap for adults can dramatically enhance memory and the ability to learn in general.
However, experts argue that a ten to twenty-minute nap is most ideal for refreshing an individual’s mind and restoring energy and alertness. This is because thirty-minute (or longer) naps can sometimes result in grogginess because an individual is waking up just their body is preparing for longer and deeper stages of sleep. Additionally, sixty-minute naps were found to be best for memory enhancement, and ninety-minute taps were best for sparking creativity.
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