Sunday, October 11, 2009

Having an Afternoon Energy Slump? Take a Nap!

Do you find yourself feeling sleepy after lunch? If the answer is yes, you are not alone.

A recent article in the News and Sentinel
reports that humans’ natural circadian rhythm includes a decrease in energy in the afternoon.

Dr. Barry Louden, a board-certified sleep medicine physician, told the News and Sentinel that in addition to our natural energy decrease, many of us are tired in the afternoons because we are constantly sleep deprived. Work, family obligations and lifestyle choices often come before sleep on the list of priorities.
Even when we do try to get the sleep we need, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

Is a nap the solution for an occasional sleepless night?

An article published recently in the Guardian makes the case.

The story says that napping for different amounts of time provides different benefits. A 20-minute nap consists mostly of stage 2 sleep, which improves alertness, concentration, mood, and motor skills. Naps of up to 45 minutes may include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which enhances creative thinking and information processing. Naps of 90 to 120 minutes usually include all sleep stages, which helps to clear your mind, improve memory recall, and lower your sleep debt.

Although a nap can help you make it through the day, it can not replace a full night’s sleep.

You might not feel the affects right away; but just one day of poor sleep can have negative consequences. People who aren’t getting enough sleep are at higher risk for serious long and short-term medical problems. Last week, the
Sleep Education Blog reported that people who sleep less than seven hours a night are three times as likely to get sick.

The AASM recommends that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night

No comments:

Post a Comment