Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Kathryn from jasper, IN. Kathryn Wonders, “How does your body know if you are taking a nap or going to bed?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Kathryn!
Wait, aren't naps for babies? Yes, naptime is an important part of a baby's day. However, it can also help some kids and adults. A little shut-eye makes them feel more alert and productive. Many adults find a quick nap is as helpful as a cup of coffee!
Afternoon naps are traditional in some countries. In Spain, they call them siestas. Many Spanish businesses close midday for just this reason. However, not all countries are as approving of naps. Many in the United States see them as a sign of laziness. With so many opinions floating around, it's difficult to decide what to think!
Are naps good for us? Sleep studies have found they have both pros and cons. NASA studied what happened to astronauts who took naps. They found that resting helped them stay more alert and get more work done. Afterward, the astronauts also had better mood, memory, and creativity.
Are you thinking about taking a nap? There are a few steps you can take to get the most benefit from a quick rest.
First, experts say the best naps last 20-30 minutes. That means you should set an alarm get up when it goes off. No pressing "snooze"! Resting for too long can cause sleepiness for the rest of the day.
Second, take your nap right after lunch. Resting later in the day will make you sleep less deeply that night. Most experts say you should nap between noon and 4 p.m.
Finally, find the right place to sleep. The ideal spot is quiet and a little chilly. Rest in a dark room where others won't interrupt your sleep.
Napping has gained popularity over the last few years. Are you ready to join the ranks of nappers? You'd be in good company! Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Albert Einstein are just a few famous people known to nap. In fact, 85% of mammals sleep in short bursts throughout the day!
Still, the practice isn't for everyone. Some wake from their short rests with more energy. Others don't see any benefits at all. To decide whether naps are for you, pay attention to how you feel throughout the day. Do you feel drowsy after lunch? Are you more or less alert in the afternoon? The only person who knows whether you need a few ZZZs is you!