Should we take a nap?



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Is it really a good idea to take a quick dip in the middle of the day? Five experts respond

It is not uncommon during the day to feel the need to lie down a little for no reason, even if the morning has not been particularly busy or if the previous night was good. But what will happen if we give in to the desire to take a nap? Believing in some, the next night will surely be ruined … Is this really the case?

To clarify things, we ask 5 experts if giving in the siesta is a good idea.

For Kathleen Maddison, a sleep specialist, yes

Feeling sleepy may, in some cases, be considered as an index of the existence of sleep disorders or a health problem. However, for many people, naps can be beneficial. They reduce drowsiness and increase alertness. In addition, they also improve performance in a number of areas: reaction time, coordination, logical reasoning, memory consolidation, symbol recognition, mood regulation, and emotion.

There are also evidence suggesting that in some people, naps lower blood pressure. There are a few caveats, however: 1) If you're taking a nap because you need to recover from badly sleeping nights, you must first combat the causes of sleep; 2) in order to reduce the risk of suffering from "sleep inertia" (when you feel even more drowsy after a nap than before), the duration of the nap should be between 10 and 30 minutes; 3) You should avoid napping at the end of the day as this can increase sleep time at night.

For Michelle Olaithe, a psychologist,
Yes it is

Naps can be very beneficial and can, in part, compensate for the loss of sleep caused by work, children or nights of drinking. Short nits may improve alertness, mood and memory. When taking a nap, choose a duration of about 10 to 30 minutes, this will prevent you from reaching the deep sleep phase and will not interfere with your sleep. nighttime sleep routines. Ensuring adequate sleep nights (which, for most adults, means seven to nine hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle) is essential to maintain optimal brain and immune function, reducing the risk of car accidents, as well as risks of developing a variety of chronic health problems. Sleep seems to be better when it's night, so do not let your naps interfere with your night rest. In addition, excessive daytime fatigue may be indicative of sleep or underlying health problem. In case of doubt consult your doctor.

Napping is a well-established practice in many parts of the world: when you do, you join the 51% of our peers who, in other places on our planet, appreciate to bite a wink daytime …

For Raymond Matthews, sleep specialist, it is SIM

If someone is wondering if he should take a nap, the answer in most cases is "yes, take a nap." In fact, adults generally only consider sleeping if they are tired, but the best remedy for fatigue is sleep … Taking a nap has two consequences. First, the nap lessens the need for sleep. This is good if you have to stay awake after the nap, but this can be problematic if you are too close to the normal bedtime. Secondly, if the nap is too long, you may wake up groggy. This awful sensation is called the inertia of sleep. If you need to be effective immediately after the nap, limit yourself to 30 minutes. Even a very short nap can give you the best of yourself. However, if you are not particularly tired or do not notice a cognitive impairment, you do not need to take a nap. Naps are not essential to the daily lives of adults.

For Shona Halson, a physiologist,
Yes it is

Many people do not sleep, but a chronic reduction in sleep time translates into decreased physical and mental well-being. Research has shown that sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, memory loss, anxiety and depression.

Taking a nap to "supplement" your sleep can be an effective way to increase your overall sleep time in 24 hours. The benefits of this practice in terms of improved performance, efficiency, humor and attention have been proven, and this is a way to reduce fatigue and accidents. Ideally, naps should not be made too late or be too long as they can affect the ability to sleep at night and the quality of nighttime sleep. Also, if you get enough sleep at night, you probably will not need to take a nap during the day.

For Jennifer Zaslona, ​​a sleep specialist, it is not

As adults, if we sleep well and regularly at night, it is not necessary to take naps during the day. In fact, regular naps for over an hour until it has a negative impact on health. However, naps can sometimes be very useful, especially if you are sick, if you have lost sleep or if your sleep has been of poor quality. These situations are more likely to involve older people or people working at irregular times. In these cases, short naps will help increase alertness. In the early afternoon, our internal clock makes our vigilance a little less good. That's why we sometimes sleep after lunch, especially if we do not get enough sleep. This is the right time to try to take a nap if you wish. It is important to listen to your body: if you are sleepy, it is usually because you need to sleep more.


None of the authors have any interests or affiliations to declare.The conversation

Alexandra Hansen, Chief of Staff, The Conversation and Lionel Cavicchioli, Chief of Health, The Conversation. the original version of this article was published in English.

This article was republished in The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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