Why napping, forty winks is a great idea.


There has been plenty of talk of the importance of sleep in the media in recent months. From the importance of a dark room for proper healthy sleep that allows your body to recharge mentally, to the stark warnings about the effect of sleep deprivation on our physical wellbeing, sleep is very much in the news. Our bodies need time to experience all the stages of sleep in order to produce melatonin, a hormone essential for our brain and body functions.

The reality of modern life is that the ideal of a natural sleep and wake rhythm can be hard to achieve. Most of us live by the tyranny of the alarm clock and the opportunity to wake and sleep naturally is not available to us. Vital as regular deep sleep is, finding a way to fit rest into a life that also includes work, social life and family responsibilities can be difficult.

One way to make sure you have enough rest in your day is to nap efficiently and top up your energy levels when you can. Naps can boost your efficiency after the natural slump our bodies experience in the afternoon and help rejuvenate you for an afternoon of work or socialising.

Make your nap efficient with these handy tips:-

• Be comfortable. Napping lying down is easier than sitting up. A day bed is the perfect place to take a nap, especially a convertible futon style that easily becomes a supportive bed with no fuss.
• Keep it short. 15-20 minutes is the ideal nap time. Any shorter and you might not get the boost you need but any longer may trigger a deeper sleep pattern it is harder to rouse from. Set an alarm if needs be.
• Make sure it is dark. You might not want to nap in your bedroom but try to make sure the room is soothingly dark. A blind that quickly reduces light is a good idea.
• A light blanket, enough to stop you shivering but not heavy enough to get too cosy, may help you relax. Some people rest better and feel more secure under the weight of a throw or afghan.
• Research suggests that drinking your coffee just before your nap can work well; the caffeine will be kicking in just as you need to wake up again.

It’s important to make sure napping works well for you. If a day time nap starts to cause night insomnia, cut back. Avoid napping in the evening or after dinner by taking a walk, doing some housework or chatting to a friend as late evening naps may leave you lying awake in the small hours.

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