19 reasons to take a nap

Need an excuse to sneak in a nap this afternoon? We've got enough to last you weeks

19 reasons to take a nap

Source: Sleep to Be Sexy, Smart and Slim, Reader’s Digest

Yeah, we know. You didn’t sleep well last night. So why not take a nap?

Studies show that not only will you feel better almost immediately, says Sara Mednick, PhD, a sleep medicine researcher at the University of California at San Diego and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life, but a daily nap of between 20 and 90 minutes before 4:00 pm will also increase your mental performance, reduce your chances of gaining weight, and make you feel a whole lot more like having sex after dinner than you probably do now. What’s more, it won’t affect your nighttime sleep.

All told, a nap, according to Dr. Mednick, will:

‘ Increase your on-the-job alertness by 100 percent
‘ Sharpen your thinking so you make more accurate judgments and better decisions
‘ Ramp up your productivity
‘ Regenerate skin cells so you look younger
‘ Increase your sex drive
‘ Help you lose weight by altering metabolism and shifting chemicals that affect appetite
‘ Reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems
‘ Lift your mood by bathing your brain in the neurotransmitter serotonin
‘ Speed up your ability to perform motor tasks, like typing, operating machinery, even swimming
‘ Improve your accuracy’in everything
‘ Improve the way your body processes carbs, which reduces your risk of diabetes
‘ Sharpen your senses so you take in what’s important in your environment’and screen out the 24-hour culture chatter that surrounds us
‘ Put your brain into its creative gear so you can come up with fresh ideas
‘ Trigger a naturally occurring hormone that blocks the destructive chemicals produced by stress
‘ Boost your ability to learn something new’and, better yet, remember it
‘ Zap the need for drugs like caffeine and alcohol to manipulate your mood and energy level
‘ Relieve migraines
‘ Improve your nighttime sleep by eliminating that wired feeling and thus shutting off the brain chatter
‘ Make you feel good all over

Don’t miss out! Sign up for our free weekly newsletters and get nutritious recipes, healthy weight-loss tips, easy ways to stay in shape and all the health news you need, delivered straight to your inbox.

Related content:

Secrets to Staying Healthy & Happy


Dried Fruit Compote

Dried fruit compote makes a delicious heart-healthy breakfast, snack or dessert rich in vitamins C and E.


The TV workout

Forget the gym’slip in a workout during your favourite half-hour TV show. Here’s how


Dump the junk!

5 reasons clutter may be taking over your life. Plus, tips for cleaning up your act