The benefits of lunch break and the reasons why you must take it

Everyone knows that after lunch the performance is poor. Decreased concentration and fatigue attack you. The remedy is a nap.

In many countries, a midday nap is taken for granted. Big companies have even set up extra rooms.

As you might expect, naps are reasonable. It is of great benefit to our health.

1/3 people around the world can't sleep well: cell phones are the culprit

Naps are natural (necessary)

The circadian rhythm regulates our wakefulness and fatigue. At those times when we should be awake, a healthy body releases hormones such as cortisol that help us become more alert. Similarly, the night provides elevated levels of melatonin and other hormones that support restful sleep.

Circadian biology researchers have discovered a hormonal basis for a midday nap. There are a number of factors that indicate that we are designed to sleep in the afternoon. Our brain waves then resemble those before sleep and neurotransmitters change to support fatigue rather than wakefulness.

A recent chronobiology study found that people who are left to their own devices without any external evidence tend to sleep for a short time in the afternoon, in addition to the longer periods at night. The nap thus has its place in the natural processes of man, even if modern life does not necessarily allow it.

Benefits of taking a nap

Numerous studies have confirmed the following positive effects on the body on the subject of naptime:

  • Fatigue states are reduced or avoided
  • A short sleep increases the concentration, it is increased mood-enhancing hormones released
  • The risk of heart attack can be significantly reduced
  • It reduces the ravenous appetite for sweet and fatty foods
  • It has a positive effect on performance and short-term memory
  • The blood pressure is lowered

That should be enough to give it a try, right?

How long does the optimal midday sleep last?

The length of midday sleep has a decisive influence on how you feel afterwards.

If the lunch break is too long, the body will shut down its function, so that when you wake up, you will fall asleep.

  • Do you feel dull and depressed?
  • Are you tired after your midday sleep?
  • Do you have a headache after a midday sleep?

If you can answer yes to one or more questions, you may even suspect that midday sleep is unhealthy.

However, this is by no means the case. The midday sleep was probably just too long. In the right length, the midday sleep is even very healthy and has a positive effect on a variety of properties.

Best not more than 20 minutes

  • A midday sleep should not last longer than 20 minutes. Short naps are best between 15 and 20 minutes.
  • Sleep longer, the body enters the deep sleep phase and you then need a long time to get fit again.

During the deep sleep phase, you can no longer consciously control the body and are therefore so sloppy, tired and disoriented when awakened at this stage.

When is the best time for a nap?

In addition to the length, the time of your nap should also be carefully considered. The best time to close your eyes is between 13:00 and 14:00 noon. If you rest briefly after 15:00, you will not do your biorhythm any good and will probably be wide awake in the evening. Therefore: Set priorities. Night sleep has the greatest regenerative effect on the human body and should not be neglected.

How do I get into short sleep quickly?

You first have to learn to relax, then sleep. Should you always need a long time to fall asleep: No problem, the most important thing is that you approach the daytime sleep episode stress-free. As soon as you think about falling asleep, you’re even more awake.

The classic way to fall asleep is “counting sheep”, a monotonous thought process. But that doesn’t work for everyone. The expert recommends quietly listening to quiet music or making a fantasy trip during which you imagine positive experiences and wishes. Just switching off and resting is usually enough to achieve a positive effect on the body.

How do I wake up in time from the Powernap?

So that you wake up 30 minutes before the deep sleep phase at the latest, there is a simple trick: drink a cup of coffee before your nap. The effect of caffeine on your body only starts after 20-30 minutes, so you wake up on time.

Another strategy is to hold a bunch of keys in your hand when you fall asleep. As soon as you fall asleep, the hand muscles relax automatically, and the keys fall clinkingly out of your hand: your alarm signal.

The most important summary

Midday sleep, if done correctly and kept very short, can act as a real energy bomb for the rest of the day.

However, you should make sure that you do not enter the deep sleep phase.

References:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21075238
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19645971
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6180010/
  • https://www.sleep.org/articles/napping-health-benefits/
  • https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-of-napping

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