Can an afternoon nap boost your mental health? Know its consequences…
Researchers say that sleeping for a while in the afternoon is beneficial for the brain as it relaxes the mind and relieves the burden. However, it was also warned that a long nap could be a sign that you are falling asleep at night.
Late afternoon sleep proves to be debilitating. Some also see it as a sign of lethargy, low energy, or illness. But, new research has shown that if you’re over 60, an afternoon nap makes you a better person, according to researchers. This report has been published in General Psychiatry, while sleep is beneficial for the brain.
Does an afternoon nap sharpen the mind?
Researchers say the physical and mental health of 2,214 people over the age of 60 were examined in major cities of China. Of these, 1,534 people took naps regularly, while 689 did not. Research has shown that sleepers achieved ‘significantly higher scores’ on standard dementia screening tests.
They did particularly well in three categories after an afternoon nap, says researcher Lin Sun, affiliated with the Shanghai Mental Health Center. Sleep has a lot to do with our ability to learn, as health director, Devino Ramkiso, told Healthline. Afternoon naps help take your mind off the heavy load.
As you sleep, your brain cells remove unnecessary information from your brain’s temporary storage areas, and the process of recreating new information begins. Research has also taken into account the need to sleep for at least 5 consecutive hours in the afternoon nap, while sleeping no more than 2 hours after lunch.
The researchers did not ask the participants how long they slept or what time of day they slept. Researchers say the ideal healthy nap should be taken between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and should last at least 10 minutes. They say it is good for good mood, energy and productivity, while reducing physical and mental stress in addition to restlessness.