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Is Taking a Nap during the Day Good or Bad for Your Health?

Fitday Editor

Taking a nap during the day can actually have good benefits for your health. Many people who regularly treat themselves to short naps claim they come with benefits. These can be benefits like more productivity, a lifting of the spirits and a sharpening of the senses. The advice of taking a nap that mothers sometimes give their children also reaps benefits for people in their adult lives. Proponents of taking a nap say that the afternoon is the best time of the day to do so. Taking a nap being good for your health is not just a matter of opinion: Scientific research is even beginning to substantiate the benefits of napping.

Makes up for Bad Night's Sleep

Research is pointing to the fact that taking a nap during the day makes up for a night's sleep that was bad and insufficient. Certain studies are concluding that taking naps is helpful for usually normal sleepers who are not getting enough hours of sleep every night. These studies don't yet fully understand the biological reasons behind this phenomena, but they have recorded conclusive results. One study compared the alertness of one group that slept the whole night through and didn't nap to people who slept less, but then napped. Both groups showed equal levels of alertness. Studies have also established the benefits of the prophylactic nap. This is where people who have to stay up late take a two- to four-hour nap before staying up late. Results indicated that this greatly helped their alertness for the next day.

Bad in Only Some Cases

While the benefits of napping are verified by research, in some cases, it may not help at all. If you are among two specific groups of people, you should not be taking naps at all, as they may even hurt you. If you are either an insomniac or just endure bouts of depression, you will want to avoid naps in the afternoon. If you are an insomniac, napping during the day could make your sleep at night even worse. If you're depressed, then napping during the day may even work to worsen your symptoms of depression. Making sure you don't sleep for more than 90 minutes during your nap is essential. If you do so, you may disturb your body's internal rhythm, leading to results that are not beneficial.


Napping during the day has some definite benefits that scientific research confirms. Taking a nap is effective for most people; it is only potentially adverse if you are either depressed or are an insomniac. Many Americans suffer from sleep deprivation, which can lead to poor performance and attitude during the day. Because of sleepiness during the day, some Americans are more unproductive and irritable than they should be, and more prone to avoidable accidents than they want to be. Taking a nap can easily fix these issues.

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