To Nap or not to Nap: Hammock Swings the Perfect Napping Getaway
Back in the day naps may have been viewed as being lazy, or unproductive. You may have heard the quote "quit wasting your day away" a number of times. But, according to some new studies that have been done, napping actually can improve alertness, and overall health. There have been numerous studies to show that a mid-day nap will improve your mood, creativity and even your productivity later in the day.
Research shows that a 60 minutes will improve your alertness for up to 10 hours. There has also been a study on NASA pilots that shows that a 26 minute nap will increase performance by 34% and alertness by 54%. Another study by Harvard University showed that a 45 minute nap will improve memory & learning.
Not only will your mental health benefit from naps, but your body as well. The release into a sleep state gives your body a chance to rejuvenate itself which in turn will reduce stress, lower blood pressure, as well as possibility of a stroke, diabetes and gaining weight. Napping has many benefits to your overall health, but to understand how to get the most out of naps, one must first look at there natural behavior towards sleep.
First is to consider what kind of sleeper you are. Whether you like to go to bed early and wake up early, or if you are what some may call a night owl and tend to stay up later into the early morning. If you usually go to bed around 10p.m. or earlier, one tends to wake up early in the morning from 4-6 a.m. If you are a night owl then you would usually go to bed after midnight and wake up from 9 a.m. to 12 in the afternoon perhaps. The early risers ideal napping time might be around 1-1:30 in the afternoon and the night owls ideal time for napping may be closer to 2-2:30 P.M. Of course, the desired time of napping may also have many influences involved that may alter when you nap. One can simply use there intuition to pick the best time.
Now that we know what kind of sleeper we are we get to choose what the desired length of nap we should have. Napping for different amounts of time can have different affects depending on your purpose of the nap and what level of rest it is you desire.Our minds will go through stages that will eventually take us into a deep unconscious sleep.
A 20 minute nap would increase your alertness and concentration, as well as improve your mood. This would be considered a light sleep; the first stage of sleep. We will actually go through many complete stages of sleep every night.
A 45 minute nap is perfect for a nice rejuvenating nap without falling into a deeper sleep that might make it a little more difficult to become fully awake after napping. A nap at this level will have all the positive effects from a 20 minute nap, but will add a slightly deeper relaxed state and also possibly a little grogginess.
A 90 minute nap is considered an REM sleep and may be required as it is known that a majority of people lack an hour or two of sleep each night. This nap will revitalize you and make for a more productive day, especially if you are not functioning at full capacity due to lack of sleep. Any nap that is 90 minutes or less will allow you to wake easier without feeling the grogginess that you may feel when you sleep for a long period of time. This is due to the way we progress through each sleep cycle.
Some tips for more restful naps:
- Sleep in a room that is dark or else use an eye mask if you are napping in a bright room
- Take a few deep breaths when you lay down and consciously allow your body to relax, letting go of all tension.
- Keep a blanket nearby in case you get cold.
- If it is too loud have a pair of earplugs handy.
- Nap when you know you will not be disturbed.
- Consider napping in hammock swings as they may provide a more restful sleep.
Napping has a multitude of positive effects on the body and mind. It will increase your alertness, lighten your mood, and revitalize your body. There are many different ways and places to nap. Perhaps, on a hammock, couch, or a hanging bed. If hammock swings are your preference, there are many different kinds that can prove beneficial. In fact hammock swings have been proven in many studies to aid in the napping process. The swaying motion and the zero gravity effect of the cocoon like bed prove the help one fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly. So whether you prefer hammock swings or just your usual bed or couch, consider napping more often as they have an abundance of health benefits.