2017-05-18 09:12:29


Napping is a delightful luxury for taking a break from our routine and getting in a short rest. For years, it has been derided as a sign of laziness. But lately it has garnered new respect, thanks to scientific evidence that midday dozing benefits both mental acuity and overall health. A slew of recent studies have shown that naps boost alertness, creativity, mood and productivity in the later hours of the day. It was said that a nap of 60 minutes improves alertness for up to 10 hours. Napping reduces stress and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke, diabetes and excessive weight gain. Getting even the briefest nap is better than nothing.


With the fast pace of the modern world and the ever-increasing demands on our time, napping is becoming something only available for seniors and children of society. Many believe that taking the time for napping will outweigh the time lost from work, as you will be more dynamic and clear to continue.


Napping is not deep sleep but rather a short, usually 20-30 minute, period of time. Many believe this deep relaxation is more valuable than deep sleep. Often people will go into the alpha state or a meditative state of deep rest while maintaining some level of wakefulness. People that experience this alpha state regularly will increase their creativity and expand their thought processes. Sir Winston Churchill coined the phrase "power naps" that maximize the benefits of sleep versus time and supplement normal sleep, especially when a sleeper has accumulated a sleep deficit.


Traditionally, naps are taken after the midday meal. Every culture around the world recognizes napping. Many countries have adopted the siesta because of the extreme heat in their region and consider it more productive to allow workers to take a midday break from work and resume in the cooler afternoon. In farming countries, a midday break is customary because of their early and late work schedules. Some countries like France and Japan, offer special areas in the workplace set up as napping rooms, while people in countries like Spain would prefer taking their siesta in the comfort of their own homes.


There are a variety of reasons it is believed that napping is fundamental to humans. Some believe the circadian rhythms dictate peaks and dips in the waking state. After a large noon day meal is a perfect time to honor that tendency because degestion will create drowsiness. However, research has discovered that even without the large meal, the tendency for napping in mid-afternoon occurs.


In the ayurvedic system, afternoon sleeping is discouraged. It is believed that drowsiness is the result of overeating and that instead of sleeping, one should take a short, comfortable walk in order to digest your food properly. They believe midday is vata time and the mental activity is at its highest efficiency. It is believed that the most dynamic productivity can be achieved at this time if the body is balanced and alert. If napping is permitted, ayurvedic tradition dictates that it will cause dullness and digestive imbalances.


Conditions such as poor health or sleep apnea can bring on sudden drowsiness during the afternoon. When the night's sleeping cycles are frequently interrupted and deep sleep or REM (rapid eye movement-dream) sleep is disturbed, an afternoon nap will be required to rejuvenate the system.


Most doctors and health professionals recommend a short break after the midday meal to digest. They also say the most important factor is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, coupled with a regular sleep cycles. If you follow these guidelines and maintain an awareness of your body's needs, you can depend on and honor its natural requests for sleep.


However, many people are concerned that napping may contribute to insomnia by making it harder to fall asleep the following night and naps are not recommended for those suffering from insomnia or depression.


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张力平,IT行业资深分析师。Zhang Liping, aka Sevencastles,a senior analyst in IT industry and the owner of Seven Castles,'a Shanghai blog featuring news and views of great interest'.