According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), a no-profit organization dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education, a nap in the afternoon can help preventing health problems due to sleep deprivation. A short nap allows to recharge mental batteries, improving our concentration, and lowers our blood pressure thus reducing stress and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
A study led by Harvard Medical School has shown that adults who have a nap at least 3 times a week reduce of a strong 37% the risk of having cardiovascular complications. NASA researched this topic, too, and discovered that a 40 minutes nap results in a 16% increase in the level of attention among its pilots.
Here is what a nap can do for you:
20 minutes nap: improves memory, mental alertness and motor learning skills.
20/30 minutes nap: improves creativity.
30/60 minutes nap: improves decision making skills.
60/90 minutes nap: this is the most beneficial nap as it allows you to get into the REM sleep, but has also contraindications: it is highly discouraged for people with sleep disorders as it could interfere with night sleep.
In short, a nap can have huge beneficial effects on our body, mind and soul as it helps us focus more, reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure.