Nap­ping is good for you

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE -

RE­SEARCH shows that peo­ple in gen­eral are sleep­ing sev­eral min­utes or hours a night less than they did 10 years ago.

Many of us waste time awake in bed, our faces il­lu­mi­nated by blue smart­phone light.

“Sleep de­pri­va­tion is a mas­sive fu­ture health haz­ard,” says Dr Caro­line Horton, se­nior lec­turer in cog­ni­tive psy­chol­ogy at Bishop Gros­seteste Uni­ver­sity in Lin­coln, the United King­dom.

The sci­en­tific com­mu­nity is yet to build a long-term body of ev­i­dence of the con­se­quences, but lack of sleep has been as­so­ci­ated with the rise of Alzheimer’s, de­men­tia, men­tal health dis­or­ders and slower re­cov­ery times from cancer treat­ments.

Sci­en­tists say you only need a few min­utes of nap time to reg­u­late your emo­tions, al­low you to cog­ni­tively re­tain in­for­ma­tion for longer, to con­sol­i­date your mem­o­ries and im­prove your abil­ity to con­cen­trate.

Com­pa­nies like Nike, Google and Face­book, hop­ing to har­ness bet­ter em­ployee pro­duc­tiv­ity, have in­stalled sleep pods in of­fices.

They defy cul­tural stigma in coun­tries like the US and the UK, where sleep­ing on the job is seen as a sign of weak­ness.

“It would be won­der­ful if peo­ple could have a nap at work, but cul­tur­ally, we’re a long way from that, and if it’s just as­so­ci­ated with the work­place that’s bad too, ” Horton says.

While we might be some way off from of­fice sleep pods, Horton says we need to cosy up to nap time to stop us sleep­walk­ing into a ma­jor pub­lic health haz­ard.

“Peo­ple need to ac­cept that nap­ping in the day is not a sign of weak­ness,” she says.

So next time you’re feel­ing sleepy, just go lay down for a guilt-free nap. Sci­ence says it’s good for you. – The In­de­pen­dent

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