We hear a lot about how important exercise is to the health of our hearts. That’s a given. What we don’t know is how important a nap is to heart health. Or that’s the case being presented these days by the American Heart Association.
A nap can — the association notes — get you out of that expected afternoon energy drop, get you recharged and help with alertness and your mood. The why starts with asking yourself some questions:
• Do you get less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night?
• After lunch, do you start to feel cranky and irritable?
• Are you bright and alert in the morning, but find it hard to concentrate by the afternoon?
• Do you need another cup of coffee or a sugary energy drink just to make it to dinner?
If you say yes to ANY of those questions — and be honest, most of us will — then a nap might be just the cure. In fact, the American Heart Association promises it will benefit — not just your attitude and energy — but your heart. Here’s why:
• Naps increase your alertness and help you play closer attention in meetings.
• They adjust the attitude. You’re less impulsive and better able to handle frustration.
• Naps improve memory and make it easier to recall facts.
• Naps make you more creative. You need sleep to learn new skills and be creative.
• A good nap is as good as a good night’s sleep.
Just as important is how you nap:
When: Mid-afternoon is best — around 3pm. Don’t nap too late in the day because it spoils sleep at night.
Where: A cool, quiet place. A car during a break works.
How long: 20-minutes or so is good and won’t disrupt sleep at night
Source link: American Heart Association