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So many of us make a point not to take naps. We are very proud to announce that we never nap. We have reserves of energy drinks and coffee that we turn to the moment we feel a nap approaching. We see naps as things to be fought off, overcome, ignored, powered through…But maybe we should see them differently. After all, your body takes the amount of sleep it needs. In fact, studies have found that setting alarm clocks can be very harmful to your sleep rhythms and ultimately your health. So if taking naps is a way for you to get enough rest, maybe you should take them. Perhaps we could take a page out of Spain’s book and make siestas mandatory. Here are interesting facts about naps.

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Naps are good for your heart

Studies have found that those who take regular naps—at least thirty minutes, three times a week—have a significantly lower risk of dying from heart disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Short naps are best

A nap of about 20 to 30 minutes is enough to help you feel alert, but will not interfere with your sleep at night. So if your reason for not napping is that you don’t want to be up at night, just keep your nap brief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Short naps can improve memory

NASA has found that taking short naps can improve your memory. Even a short snooze can make it easier for you to remember old information while working on a task that involves new information. This boosts complex problem-solving skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lying down lowers blood pressure

Lying down for a short period of time, even if you do not fall asleep, lowers your blood pressure. So attempting to nap, even if you won’t fall asleep, still has its benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

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A five-minute nap helps, too

Falling asleep for just five minutes can relieve tiredness. Don’t prolong your nap until you have time for an extended one. If you feel absolutely exhausted, take a five-minute nap at your desk or in your car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Everyone else is doing it

In Japan, napping on the job is a sign of hard work. In fact, some Japanese professionals pretend to nap to make it look like they’ve been working hard. Chinese workers tend to nap around lunchtime, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is when you should nap

The best time to take a nap in order to feel more alert, but not interrupt your nighttime sleep, is eight hours after getting up, and eight hours before going to bed. That could explain the slump that comes around 2 or 3 in the afternoon for those who work 8 to 5 jobs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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These people love naps

Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and JFK all loved to nap. And they accomplished some pretty great things, so maybe we should take after them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Google and HuffingtonPost have nap areas

Google and HuffingtonPost offices have designated nap areas and equipment. At Google, employees can catch some zzz’s in nap pods and at HuffPo, people can head to the NapQuest quarters when they feel tired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Naps may be a sign of our natural sleep schedule

Certain studies observed how people sleep when they aren’t kept to any schedule. The studies found people tend to sleep in short, fragmented bouts of sleep throughout the day, rather than one long session. Naps could be our bodies trying to tell us that we aren’t supposed to get all of our sleeping done at night

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Napping makes you a better decision maker

Napping helps your brain better understand what information is actually useful, and what information you can toss out. That’s a part of what your brain is doing when it dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Naps could prevent catastrophic events

Some believe that catastrophic events like the Challenger space shuttle disaster could have been prevented, had those involved not been so sleep-deprived.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Only humans resist naps

Humans are the only living things that try to overcome naps and put off sleep. All other living things just go to sleep when they feel tired, regardless of the time of day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s good for your creativity

The more REM cycles you go through, the better your brain is at connecting information in new, creative ways. So try taking a nap if you’re struggling to think outside the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Napping can improve mental health

Research has found that getting enough sleep can be an important key to the effectiveness of anti-depression treatment.

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