National Napping Day: Nap Facts

Photo by Jack Shell/Petty Images

They say 2:00 or 3:00 is the best time to take a nap, and since that’s around the time my show starts on 95.5 WFMS, I’d have to agree.  Since today is the first Monday after the Daylight Saving Time change, it has been declared as National Napping Day.  I don’t know about you, but I love me a good nap, especially on the weekend.  I can take an exact fifteen-minute nap, and my wife Karen is regularly astonished by this feat.  Whereas when SHE takes a nap, it’s always longer than an hour.  Anyway, a nap is very important for many reasons.

  • A shorter nap (around 20-30 minutes) is recommended for improved short-term alertness. A shorter nap leaves you feeling refreshed and focused without making you feel groggy or interfering with your nighttime sleep.
  • A study at NASA on military pilots found that short naps improved performance by up to 34%.
  • If you’re feeling extra stressed, a nap can act as a sort of mini-vacation allowing you to relax and escape for a short period of time.
  • Even if you can’t fall asleep, even just laying down for a short time can be beneficial as it lowers blood pressure, thus relieving a small amount of stress.
  • One study found that napping at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes resulted in a 37% lower death rate due to heart problems.
  • Napping doesn’t always keep you awake – studies have found that they can actually increase your ability to stay asleep all night by 12% and lower the time required to fall asleep by 14%.
  • In ancient Rome, everyone took a pre-scheduled nap after lunchtime.
  • A nap as short as 2-5 minutes long has been shown to be an effective means of getting rid of sleepiness.

I don’t know about you, but I think my cats Oskee and Libby have the right idea.