Monday, March 10, 2014

National Napping Day

Today is National Napping Day, per http://www.mahalo.com/napping-day/.  I am not a napper myself (unless it is simply a catnap of less than 10 minutes) - I can't ever really reawaken and feel like I'm on the same planet after a nap.  So here are some pros and cons of napping....
National Napping Day was founded by Boston University professor William Anthony and his wife Camille in 1999. Napping Day is an unofficial holiday set aside to help people adjust to Daylight Saving Time and to promote health and productivity benefits ofnapping. After losing an hour of sleep by "springing forward," people are more sleep-deprived and find it easier to nap.
Mid-afternoon is a time when many people experience a slump in alertness, especially after a poor nights sleep. It is felt by many that a heavy lunch causes this trough in energy. However, research show that this occurs because it is natural for us to take a mid-afternoon nap.
Dr Gregg D Jacobs wrote in July, 2004: "A mid-day nap is an integral part of the daily routine of many cultures, particularly those near the equator. This suggests that napping may have been part of an evolutionary mechanism to get us out of the hot midday sun. However, because the urge for a nap is appreciably weaker than the need to sleep at night, it can be suppressed (or masked by caffeine) but at the cost of increased sleepiness and reduced mood and performance. Also, because naps conflict with work schedules, they are becoming less common in industrialized societies (with the exception of college students and the elderly, who have more regular opportunities to nap). Unfortunately, this decline in napping may be causing poorer afternoon alertness and performance."1

Information on Napping

  1. A 2009 study in the U.K. indicated that naps could increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes2
  2. Most people need between seven-and-a-half and eight hours of sleep3
  3. Naps can improve ones mood and performance, according to William Anthony4
  4. Studies show regular napping can deuce risk level of death from heart related problems4
  5. It is a Spanish tradition, still practiced and observed by many, to take two hour nap in the afternoon.

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