Let’s face it — from time to time we all find ourselves a little tired and struggling to make it through the day without roughly a dozen triple-shot lattes. You’re eyeing off the coffee machine as you read this right now, aren’t you?
Well pep up, friends, because we have some very welcome news for you: naps are actually beneficial in a number of ways. For starters, a study presented to the European Society of Cardiology annual conference last month found midday naps are associated with reduced blood pressure and could decrease risk of heart attacks.
Researchers analysed how naps impacted on the blood pressure levels of 386 subjects with hypertension. Those who took a midday snooze had a daily blood pressure reading five per cent lower than those who didn’t — and hour-long naps seemed to have the most benefit. Napping was also linked to less damage to the arteries and heart, and an “enhanced fall” of blood pressure levels at night.
Those aren't the only benefits, either. Some studies have found a daytime trip to SnoozeVille is more effective than caffeine in improving motor skill performance and memory.
To some people the thought of napping during the day might sound ludicrous, but it turns out they're in the minority; reports suggest up to two-thirds of people worldwide take regular naps. If you remain unconvinced, here are five more napping benefits that might get you over the line (and into the nearest bed):
1. It helps you keep your cool.
It's thought napping reduces impulsive decision-making and short-temperedness. In one study, a group of 40 volunteers were told to complete an impossible task, and researchers observed a considerable difference in the frustration levels between those who took an hour-long nap and the non-napping group. Further, those who took a nap were more likely to persist at the task before giving up.