Napping is good for you
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