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To Nap or Not To Nap?

via – Hillary Heffner | Team AVAC

Summer is here! While this time can be fun and exciting, it can also be one of the busiest and stressful parts of the year. Camps, vacations, sports clubs and weddings among other things can get in the way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep is an important factor to our health and well-being, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Ever wondering if you’re getting enough shut-eye? Or those afternoon naps you crave are actually beneficial? Stop the worrying and rest easy, the answers are here. The chart below recommends the amount of sleep one should have per night based on age.

STREPchanges_1I don’t know about you, but I barely get the minimum amount of sleep. If you struggle with getting the correct amount of sleep, there may be other factors that inhibit you from maintaining quality sleep health. External stimuli, including caffeine, alarm clocks, and phones can affect your sleep patterns. Try to eliminate all types of stimulants before napping or resting for the night.

Benefits to Napping:

  • Improved alertness
  • Improved mood
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Increase in performance, better memory and quicker reaction time

Negative Effects of Napping:

  • Feeling groggy (result of napping for more than 30 minutes at a time and wrong time of day)
  • Nighttime sleep issues (pre existing conditions such as insomnia can be worsened by naps)

 Tips for a Successful Nap:

  • Short naps, 10-30 minutes max
  • Nap in the afternoon, around 2-3 pm
  • Restful and calming environment, dark and quite place to rest your head

Overall, taking some time to rest and relax this summer can really benefit your health and lifestyle.

Happy Napping!

References:
National Sleep Foundation, sleepfoundation.org and sleephealthjournal.org
Mayo Clinic website, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/napping/art-20048319?pg=2

 

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Author: stephdoty

Almaden Valley Athletic Club®

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