Should I take a nap? How much are we to take a nap? How much are we to despise the nap? How much are we to ignore the benefits of napping? Do you know the importance of a nap? Discover the importance of napping in this article. Napping is essential for being fit physically and mentally. In the child improves the memory. In adults decreases the risk of a heart attack. But above all, what is a nap?
What Is the Napping?
The nap is a rest period taken during the day (or at night for night workers), usually after lunch. The nap would be part of the genetic heritage of the human being and would be programmed to be practiced between 12 pm and 3 pm at the moment when the fatigue appears and the attention decreases.
The word nap comes from the Spanish “siesta”, and this one from the Latin “Sexta”, which means the sixth hour of the day.
The Two Major Categories of Sleep
Sleep is divided into two broad categories: slow sleep (with slow brain electrical waves) and fast sleep (also known as REM sleep). During slow sleep, physiological regeneration takes place. While during fast sleep, it is psychological regeneration that acts. It can now be said that the first hours of sleep are more recuperative for the physical body, no matter what time you go to bed.
Brain in Activity During Sleep
During sleep, the body recharges its batteries and prepares for a new day. The brain never rests and performs a number of vital functions while we sleep. For example, it secretes hormones to help the body grow well during childhood and sorts out all the information acquired during the day. After a good night, you usually remember a lesson much better the day before.
Should I Take a Nap?
The beginning of the afternoon is the time of day when almost all human beings have the least amount of intellectual and physical performance. This “universal” fatigue does not require the same type of recovery according to age and the people.
The rehabilitation of the nap is advocated by many sleep specialists. It would reduce the risk of traffic accidents – national statistics indicate that the majority of accidents occur during chrono-biological periods of maximum drowsiness (between 2 and 5 am, between 13 and 15 hours).
Habits differ according to the country:
– Asians have made it a daily ritual and do not hesitate to develop premises within companies to allow their employees not to derogate from their nap.
– The Mediterranean countries are more regular because when the temperature rises, the work of the early afternoon is not productive and we prefer to adjust the office hours to allow employees time to nap and then to go back to work at the least hot hours.
Napping is useful for any individual!
Knowing that nighttime sleep is very vital to human health, napping should not be neglected: Whether children, teenagers, adults, or the elderly, men or women, the nap can recover energy, dynamism, the joy of life, and above all a good mood.
Benefits of a Nap
Napping has many health, work, and even life benefits. It can be said that it could have significant effects on our life expectancy.
The benefits of a nap are physical, mental, and emotional. The nap entails:
* additional physical energy;
* a better mood;
* an improvement in concentration;
* better memory skills;
* better relaxation;
* reduced stress and fatigue…
Napping results in improved memory and learning abilities. It is also a source of better creativity and greatly increases the productivity of those who practice it.
Regular napping reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduces fatigue, and helps to increase feelings of relaxation and well-being.
Struggle Against Stress.
The nap also helps soothe the stresses gathered during a certain time, the negative effects of stress are recognized as a generator of coronary or cardiovascular diseases.
Sleep Helps to Fix Memories
According to a study of memory performed by German researchers, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience in January 2011, resting after recording information would better keep them in memory.
This reveals that the brain takes advantage of periods of sleep to record much more important information he has just acquired. So far, researchers knew that the hippocampus – the brain area that temporarily stores the newly acquired data – was waiting for some form of reactivation of these memories in order to fix them in the neocortex permanent storage.
To ensure that sleep played no role in the process of memorization, scientists set up an experiment. They asked 24 volunteers to hold 15 pairs of cards representing animals and objects. After 40 minutes, 12 of the candidates had to memorize a new series slightly different from the first. The other 12 participants, for their part, had taken a nap before being put in front of the second set of cards. The test which was then proposed to them, concerned only the first series.
The researchers found that the candidates who had rested had retained 85% of the cards against 60% for the others. They concluded that the reactivation of memories had completely different effects depending on the state of sleep or sleep. The reason for this unexpected result is that the transfer of memories between the hippocampus and the neocortex had already begun in the first few minutes of sleep. Thus, a 40-minute break would be enough for a large number of memories to be stored in an area where new information would arrive that would no longer dislodge or confuse them.
These results could benefit those who are intensively learning foreign languages or victims of post-traumatic stress disorder. It would be possible to help them more effectively by “re-programming” their memories.
Napping Fights Stress and Strengthens the Immune System
A study conducted by the American Society of Endocrinology, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in February 2015, proves that a nap, even a short one, allows our body to regain the proper functioning of its immune system.
They studied the impact of the nap on men who slept only two hours the night before. And it appears that the nap helps to restore the body levels of hormones and proteins to fight stress and restore the proper functioning of the immune system. This study highlights the fact that a nap can restore the health of the neuroendocrine and immune systems.
To test their theory, scientists analyzed the urine and saliva of volunteers at disturbed sleep to determine the effect of sleep deprivation on altered hormone levels at night and, subsequently, after naps.
After a limited night’s sleep, these men, as well, saw their levels of norepinephrine multiplied by two-and-a-half times. Norepinephrine is a hormone and neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the body’s stress response, which increases heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar. The researchers found that norepinephrine levels returned to normal after a nap.
They also noted that lack of sleep also affected levels of interleukin-6, a protein with antiviral properties, contained in saliva. It was found during the study that this hormone had dropped significantly after a very short night, but had also returned to normal levels after a nap.
Napping remains an individual penchant, whether one is male or female, southern or northern. This blessed parenthesis that allows us to find our body to better leave him time for a nap would also be a sign of maturity, according to Lucille Garma, a neuropsychiatrist at the hospital of Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris. We become adults when we like to take a nap. Child, we were forced to do it. And as a teenager, we prefer to go to bed late and get up late. However, abusing it may, on the contrary, signal a regression, like that of the depressive who buried his anxieties under the pillow to silence them.