It happens that in the middle of the day you want to disconnect from work and take a nap for an hour or two. Opinions are divided: some believe that daytime sleep is an effective way to relax and rejuvenate, others that sleep during the day is useless and interferes with a good night’s sleep. We understand what the studies say: is it worth sleeping during the day or is it better to be patient and go to bed early in the evening.
Types of daytime sleep
According to a 2017 joint study by scientists from two US universities, daytime sleep can be divided into several categories depending on why you want to sleep:
- Restorative sleep
If you’ve been working at night or haven’t slept well, lack of sleep can take its toll and you’ll feel tired in the morning. In this case, getting some sleep the next day to make up for the lack of sleep at night would be a good idea.
- Preventive sleep
When, on the contrary, you plan to work at night or are going to a party, you can take a nap during the day in order to maintain the ability to think clearly and not feel sleepy for longer.
- Sleep for pleasure
There is nothing wrong with sleeping just because you love to sleep. In this case, sleep can improve your mood and help you relax, and your energy levels after waking up may be higher.
- Healing sleep
Such a dream helps the body to cope with the disease faster. During illness, a person experiences a greater need for sleep – the immune system fights the infection, and this requires additional energy. Sleep during illness is necessary for everyone.
How long do you need to sleep
Duration is one of the most important factors for a healthy daytime sleep. Every time you fall asleep, your body goes through sleep cycles . In 2006, researchers Amber Brooke and Leon Luck at the University of Adelaide found that five minutes of sleep was not enough to provide health benefits.
But sleeping for 15-30 minutes allows the body to enter the stage of deep sleep. If you sleep for more than half an hour, there is a possibility of encountering sleep inertia – a state when, for some time after waking up, disorientation occurs and coordination of movements is disturbed. At the same time, if you feel very tired, you can sleep longer – there is nothing harmful or dangerous in this (during illness, you can and should sleep more!).
Attention! Everything is very individual. If you have trouble sleeping at night after a nap, it’s best to stop sleeping during the day.
Advantages and disadvantages of daytime sleep
Daytime naps can be helpful if they fit into your lifestyle and don’t disrupt your circadian rhythms. According to experts, sleep during the day promotes relaxation and improves mood, reduces fatigue, increases alertness and performance.
But, unfortunately, not everyone can sleep during the day without consequences. Sometimes people just can’t sleep during the day or can’t sleep at night if they slept during the day.
The main disadvantages of daytime sleep are sleep inertia and problems falling asleep at night. Normally, short naps during the day don’t affect the quality of sleep at night, but if you have insomnia or wake up frequently during the night, daytime naps can exacerbate these problems.
In the elderly, frequent naps of more than an hour may be associated with less favorable outcomes. Jeanne Mantua and Rebecca Spencer in their study note that some association has been found between prolonged daytime sleep and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The results of another study, published in 2015 by scientists from the University of Sydney, suggest a link between daytime sleep and the development of depression.
But the existing data are too limited, and further research is needed to understand the relationship between daytime sleep in older adults and possible negative outcomes.
Summing up, it is safe to say that daytime sleep is necessary only for young children. You can sleep during the day if you want and have the opportunity, or you can not sleep. But do not forget that daytime sleepiness can be a sign of health problems – from the common cold to diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. If you regularly want to go to sleep during the day, and there are no obvious reasons for this, it is worth consulting with your doctor
How to take a nap so that daytime sleep does not disrupt performance?
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your daytime sleep.
- Set aside 10-20 minutes for sleep.
- Go to bed before 3:00 pm, because sleeping later can already affect your night’s sleep.
- Try to sleep in a room with a comfortable temperature, preferably in the dark and on a comfortable mattress.
- After waking up, do not rush to immediately return to business, give yourself some time to wake up.