A lot of us love to have that extra long morning while our alarm benevolently tries to wake us up. More often than not we are rebuked for it as ‘lazy’ and ‘sloppy’. If you tend to have short naps during the day, you are considered downright unkempt. The caricature of a person who likes to sleep has added details like overgrown facial beard and crumpled clothes.
This article here exists to validate your need and right to sleep. Living in noisy houses and noisy cities, it is not likely that a lot of us get the sleep we need. 5 hours of sleep is the bare minimum requirement to stay awake the next day. However to be 100% active and alert most people need to sleep for atleast 7 to 8 hours undisturbed. Yes there are exceptions where people are comfortable with 6 hours of sleep as well.
What happens when you don’t sleep well?
When we do not get adequate rest, we tend to make up for this with micro-naps throughout the day. Of course, we should not be so sleep deprived that we fall asleep at the steering wheel! But usually, our brain tries to achieve the balance by only attaining micro-naps when stimulating environments don’t keep it aroused. That translates to boring meetings and lectures (and dates too, for a few of us!).
There are many repercussions when you do not sleep well in the night and fail to rest during the day either. You would be more irritable throughout the day, to start with. Further, the body’s homeostatic systems require sleep to maintain the body temperature. Unregulated body temperature is an open invitation to feeling unwell. An unrested brain cannot function well. It will probably not be able to perceive all the information being thrown at it.
How much rest do we need?
So if naps are beneficial, should you take an hour long break? Well, no. Health experts say that anything longer than 20 minutes is not actually a nap! More than 20 minutes means you have entered sleep, the kind you should indulge in at night. So, 10 to 15 minutes of power naps are perfect. They even fit the duration of a coffee break.
Initially, you might feel you got up without much rest, but as you train yourself, you will feel more refreshed throughout the day. Try this in a more silent setting first, like your cubicle, before in a noisy place like the bus or train to home.
So, in essence, you are smart if you allow your brain to have the short little breaks it needs.
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