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Enjoying Naps in the Winter Season

You've probably heard that taking naps can upset your sleep schedule--but that isn't always the case

In our modern world days are divided into two distinct periods--one for wakefulness, and the other for sleep. This pattern of half-and-half is referred to as monophonic sleep, and humans are one of the only mammals that practice this pattern. Our bodies have actually been found to prefer TWO different period of sleep. One between 2am-4am, and another from 1pm-3pm.

Because of this, naps can actually be quite beneficial when utilized in a healthy way. There is solid scientific evidence napping lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke, excessive weight gain and diabetes as well as reducing stress. A short 20-minute midday nap boosts mental alertness, mood, productivity, and sharpens motor skills.

What are the Qualities of a "Perfect Nap"?

  • Darkness stimulates melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. Try to darken your room, or wear an eyeshade.

  • Laying Down-- people that sleep upright take 50% longer to fall asleep than people who are laying down

  • Keep it Brief naps longer than 20mins can leave you feeling groggy or disoriented, so it is best to nap for somewhere between 20-40mins max

  • Pay attention to your Nightly Sleep--if you are unable to sleep during the night, napping frequently may add to this problem

The Three Types of Naps

There are three different napping practices, that can all come in handy

Planned napping: Taking a nap before you actually get sleepy. This is also called preparatory napping. You may use this technique as a mechanism to ward off getting tired earlier or when you know that you will be up later than your normal bedtime.

Emergency napping: Taking a nap when you are suddenly very tired and cannot stay awake to continue with what you were doing. This type of nap can be used to combat fatigue while using heavy and dangerous machinery or drowsy driving.

Habitual napping: Napping at the same time each day. A person might take a short nap after lunch every day or young children may fall asleep at about the same time each afternoon.

Napping isn't for everyone, but it can be incredibly beneficial for those that find themselves constantly hitting a wall. If napping doesn't help to clear away some of your drowsiness, you might consider that there is something in addition to the lack of sleep that is having an adverse effect on your energy, and in that case you might want to explore other options. We are always here to help if that turns out to be the case!

Yours in Health & Wellness,

If you or someone you love is feeling particularly drowsy this winter season, book an appointment for our New Patient Special, and we will help to restore the spring in your step

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