Who doesn't love a day time nap?

Have you ever been so busy looking after your little ones and wished you could take a quick nap? Let's look at the many benefits of a daytime nap, not just for your little ones, but most importantly for you! 

Improved cognitive function Many sleep experts believe that taking short naps (of between 15-20 minutes) during the day can improve cognitive function. This can result in increased productivity in the day (workplace or when at home looking after your children).So, rather than being a sign of laziness and an unprofessional work attitude, daytime naps can actually result in improved performance during the work day. Take that for a result!

Provides a memory boost We also know that other leading researchers have explored the effects of napping on memory. Back in 2007, a German study was carried out whereby participants were asked to memorise a list of words. During the next half an hour, they napped, with some people having short naps, other long naps, and some not napping at all. They were then asked to tell the researchers what words they could remember from the list. The results demonstrated quite clearly that memory improves after a nap, and that improvement is greater the longer the sleep.

We found that interestingly, a really short nap of around six minutes dramatically improves memory function. So, if you fancy boosting your memory function, it could be worth squeezing in a short siesta during the day! 

Lower blood pressure One study has discovered that naps are linked with a 37% reduction in coronary mortality. This is possibly due to reduced cardiovascular stress during daytime sleep. Whilst experts admit that they're not sure whether the benefit comes from the nap itself, the reclined position during sleep, or simply the expectation of a nap, they agreed that this decrease in blood pressure could be why those who take naps have lower coronary mortality.

As you can see, naps come with a whole range of benefits, from making you more productivity in the day to improving your cardiovascular health. However, scientists do state that napping is only beneficial if it forms part of a regular daytime routine, rather than serving as a one-off. What's more, sleeping too long can have detrimental effects. A nap shouldn't be longer than half an hour and should be taken on a couch or armchair, rather than in a bed (where you're more likely to fall into a deeper sleep). Entering a deep sleep state can lead to you being unable to sleep at night.

Find out more about how to improve sleep for the entire family...