Naps are a wonderful thing. It re-energizes you, helps you focus, and just makes you feel good. However, there are just times when you cannot get that perfect power nap in, regardless if your neighbor is being loud or your kids are running around like crazy. During a situation like this, it can be frustrating, especially if you’re tired or not feeling well. But, there’s something about the naps during winter. It could be because of the cold breeze or simply because you’re cozied up in your blankets, but winter naps are definitely the best.
In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to get the perfect nap to keep you relaxed during this cold season.
Getting the Perfect Nap in the Winter Season
The majority of mammals are polyphasic sleepers, which means that they take intermittent naps throughout the day. Humans have a monophasic sleep pattern when days are divided into two different periods: sleep and waking. It’s possible that this is a result of living in a developed society rather than the way people naturally sleep.
Both small children and the elderly nap in the middle of the day in many cultures. Our bodies are designed to be extremely sleepy twice a day, between 2 and 4 in the morning and 1 to 3 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, despite our biological vestige, we have to consolidate our sleep into one long period—making several brief episodes of sleep common for humans. There is solid scientific evidence napping lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke, excessive weight gain, and diabetes, as well as reduces stress.
A short 20-minute midday nap boosts mental alertness, mood, and productivity and sharpens motor skills. Sometimes, a 45-minute nap can include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, allowing you to improve your creative thinking abilities and sensory processing. Keep your snooze under 45 minutes if you need to get going right away.
Three Types of Naps
Planned napping: Also called preparatory napping, this pertains to taking a nap before you actually get sleepy. When you anticipate staying up later than usual or want to prevent falling asleep earlier, you may use this method.
Emergency napping: It is when you take a nap when you are suddenly very tired and cannot stay awake to continue with what you were doing. This kind of nap can be utilized to prevent fatigue while drowsy driving or operating large, potentially dangerous machinery.
Habitual napping: This happens when you nap at the same time each day. A person might take a short nap after lunch every day, or young children may fall asleep at about the same time each afternoon.
Tips on How to Get the Perfect Nap in Any Season
There are several ways to get the perfect nap whenever you want it. Here are some of these ways:
- Get over the idea that taking a nap is a sign of laziness. Recognize that taking a nap will increase your alertness and productivity when you get up. Napping isn’t for the lazy or depressed. A few famous people who were known to take afternoon naps include Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, and Thomas Edison.
- Avoid consuming large quantities of foods that are heavy in fat, sugar, or caffeine, which can interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Choose foods that are heavy in calcium and protein instead because they help you sleep.
- Look for a spot where you can lie down that is clean, peaceful, and free from distractions like phones and people walking by. Sitting up straight makes it take roughly 50% longer to fall asleep.
- Darkness stimulates melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. So try to darken your room, or wear an eyeshade.
- Body temperature drops when you fall asleep, so increase the room temperature or cover up.
- To avoid oversleeping, set your alarm at the time you want to wake up.
Are There Negative Effects on Napping?
Despite its advantages, napping isn’t always the greatest choice. People who take naps that last longer than 20 minutes may have sleep inertia, a sense of confusion, and grogginess that lasts for at least 30 minutes. Post-nap impairment and disorientation can be more severe for people who are sleep deficient, in particular.
Another drawback of daytime naps is that they could interfere with other sleep times. The length and quality of your evening sleep may be negatively impacted by a nap that is longer than 45 minutes or taken too late in the day. If you typically have difficulties falling asleep at night, a nap can make matters worse.
Napping has both positive and negative effects depending on the person and situation. For some, it may be the best way to get through a long day, while for others, it may only disrupt their sleep schedule. It is important to experiment and determine if napping works best for you or not.