National Napping Day (11th of March) may seem like an excuse to catch a few z’s but this silly holiday is better for you than you may think. Human beings belong to a minority group of mammalian species that are mono-phasic species. This means we have two distinct periods, one period of wakefulness and one for sleep. The other 85% of mammals are polyphasic sleepers that nap several times a day. While it’s unclear if sleeping once a day is natural, there are certain benefits to napping which can improve mood, performance and wellbeing.
As a nation, the UK sleeps for an average of between 5.78 and 6.83 hours per night. This shocking news means the population is missing out on the recommended amount of sleep by at least 100 minutes. Compared to the rest of the world, the UK get 34 minutes less sleep on average. If you add up all of this lost sleep, the average Brit is losing a stunning 8.76 days of sleep annually. With stats like this, it is no wonder we have such a reliance on stimulants like coffee.
However, napping could be the answer to this problem. The stigma of successful people never sleeping is tired with icons like Jeff Bezos celebrating the importance of a regular sleep pattern. Whether a weekday or weekend, sunny snooze in your conservatory or a power nap at your desk, taking a little time to recharge your batteries can be beneficial to your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Here are just a few ways napping can help:
Napping has long been known to improve your mental capacity. Studies across the globe have come to similar conclusions; German neuropsychologists found napping after learning something can improve your memory as much as five times compared to without napping. Similarly, a NASA study on military pilots found a nap improved brain performance by 34%.
These are just two cases but they highlight the importance of napping. So next time your boss asks why you’ve brought your pillow into work you can reel off these facts and show why you deserve to be on The Chase.
It’s not just your memory but your alertness that also benefits from napping. Napping between 10-30 minutes has been proven to increase alertness by up to 100%. This incredible stat has limits though as people who nap for longer than 30 minutes may experience ‘sleep inertia’. Sleep inertia is the feeling of grogginess or disorientation that comes from awakening from a deep sleep. While only temporary, it can have negative effects on people who have to work immediately after waking up.
Stress is one of the biggest health risks we can experience. It can often be the cause of conditions such as heart disease or stroke. However, one of the best ways to deal with stress and anxiety is to catch some daytime shuteye. Regular sleep has been proven to lower your blood pressure and relax you, allowing you to deal with stress more effectively.
In an ironic twist, stress is often the cause of not enough sleep. A survey of the British populace found that stress was the highest cause of poor sleep at 25% while children only accounted for 3%.
This is a great tip the next time you’re struggling and need a break. Curl up in a warm, comfy spot and let the stress wash away.
Weight loss plans always talk about eating right and working out. However, sleep is also an important part of the process. A study by Stanford University found that a lack of sleep triggers a release of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you hungrier. This has a double effect as it also lowers the hormone leptin responsible for telling you when you’re full.
Tiredness can also affect your relationships. Research from the University of California discovered that just one night with poor rest can make you less accurate at reading your partner’s emotions and increase your chance of being moody.
Heart disease is one of the biggest killers and a lack of sleep can increase your risk. Sleep allows your body to rest and heal so going without sleep can make your blood vessels less flexible. This is due to your brain telling your body to become stiff and unresponsive. However, getting back to regular sleeping patterns and taking naps can help return your blood vessels to normal.
Beauty sleep is real. A recent study found that a lack of sleep can result in higher concentrations of fine lines, uneven skin tone and loose skin. This can directly be connected to sleep as your body is unable to repair itself.
With so many benefits it seems taking a nap is a no-brainer. National Nap Day falls on Sunday the 11th of March this year so why not try out a mid-afternoon snooze in your conservatory or orangery and see how you feel. This little practice could well be worth adding to your daily routine.
Stormclad is committed to creating unique conservatories, extensions and orangeries. We understand the importance of rest and relaxation so why not create your own personal oasis with a modern, relaxing and energy efficient conservatory today. Contact us to find out more or visit our showroom and find inspiration.