10 Ways Napping Can Bring You Mental Clarity
Who doesn’t love snuggling in and taking a long, much-needed and restorative nap in the middle of the day? While most of us feel as though we simply don’t have the time to take a nap, they can be one of the most important things that we do for ourselves each and every day. Most people know the physical health benefits that can come with sleep, but naps specifically are able to bring mental benefits as well.
Naps can come with so many unique benefits, and they don’t have to be all that long in order for people to really get the mental perks of naps. In fact, many experts have found that napping regularly can not only help you feel more restored, rested and focused but that they can also help you achieve a sense of mental clarity.
- Better Memory
If you want to have better memory , are trying to memorize a speech for a presentation or are just studying for a test, then naps can help you out tremendously. Naps are known to benefit the recall process and to help people retain information better. So instead of pushing yourself to study for one more hour when you need to learn something important, take a nap instead.
- Less Mental Burnout
If your mind feels bogged down with information overload from work, school or life, then a nap may be your key to helping your brain recover. This is one of the easiest way to prevent mental burnout and to help you achieve the mental clarity that you need to focus on what is important instead of running into a wall.
- Improved Mood
Nothing can get in the way of your mental clarity or performance like a bad mood, so consider bringing some more positivity into your life with a solid nap. Even just a 20-30 minute nap can help boost your mood, increase serotonin levels and reduce the risk of depression. All of this is sure to free your mind up so you can get the mental focus you have been searching for.
- Boosted Learning Performance
When you drift off to take a nap, it actually can help clear information out of your brain’s temporary storage region. Think of it as a spring cleaning of all of the short-term, non-important facts that are being stored in your brain. When you wake up, your mind will be cleared, and ready to absorb new information, which can be a great asset for learning performance.
- Reduce Stress
When you feel stressed, your mind and your body start to feel the effects. Studies on stress management and naps have found that short, regular naps can actually help people feel less stressed when they wake up. Let your mind be open and free instead of focused on your stress with a simple 30 minute rest.
- Increased Alertness
Studies have found a 30 minute nap can actually reverse the effects of getting a poor night sleep. This means you can make up rested, restored and more alert. When you don’t get enough sleep, your mind can’t stay as alert, clear and focused as it needs to be. So, even if you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, you can still maintain the mental fortitude you need to make it through your day with a simple nap.
- Better Performance
When NASA wanted to look at ways to increase the performance of pilots and astronauts, they turned to napping. The results of this study found that a 40 minute nap actually increased performance by 34% and psychological alertness by 100%.
- Increased Rejuvenation
Naps have a unique psychological benefit in that they actually help people feel as though they have been pampering themselves. Taking this time for yourself can be a like a mini-vacation for your mind. Think about how relaxed and rejuvenated you feel after some time away from the office. You can harness this feeling simply by taking a nap.
- Boosted Creativity
If you need some mental clarity for your creativity, then napping is the way to go. According to the Wall Street Journal, if you want a nap that will help with creativity then consider a longer nap, such as a 90 minute snooze.
- Reduced Anxiety
If your mind feels preoccupied by feelings of anxiety, a nap may be just the thing you need to relax, refocus and regain your mental control. A nap can actually help control spiking hormone levels that can make anxiety worse, so if you are feeling particularly bogged down with feelings of anxiousness, you may want to try a nap.
You can enjoy all of these mental benefits and more by simply taking a nap. Remember that naps shouldn’t be too long, so try to keep them between 20-30 minutes, but no more than 90 minutes in order to get the best benefits possible.