Art of the Nap

A good night’s sleep sets up the day just right.

How a daily doze will benefit your health–if you do it right.

Napping isn’t just for babies. Science shows that an afternoon nap is beneficial for adults, too. A short nap in the mid-afternoon can boost memory, improve job performance, lift your mood, make you more alert, and ease stress. A 2019 study among 3,500 Swiss adults ages 35 to 75 published in the medical journal Heart found that people who nap once or twice a week have a lower risk of cardiovascular problems (including heart disease and strokes) than non-nappers. 

But how long should you nap to possibly extend your life? That’s the catch—not too long. The study also found that the risk of heart disease “decreased for napping 0 to 30 min/day, slightly increased for 45 min/day napping, followed by a sharp increase for longer nap durations.” Bottom line, there’s no need to feel lazy for indulging in daytime sleep. Just keep it short and sweet, ideally under half an hour, and you’ll wake up refreshed while giving your health a boost. 


This article originally appeared in our October 2020  issue.

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