Now that the clock has sprung ahead an hour, chances are, you are feeling left behind. Come on, admit it, you’re tired. And nothing would make you happier than snuggling up on the sofa for a nice, long nap.
Because you still haven’t quite recovered from springing forward, read on for five great reasons to sneak a snooze into your busy day:
- Contrary to what you may think, a nap of 20-30 minutes, actually increases your alertness and reduces a tendency towards mistakes or accidents. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34 percent and alertness 100 percent.”
- Going without sleep can actually make you sick. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people who experience sleep insufficiency “are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”
- Got a problem to solve? It turns out the old adage to “sleep on it” rings true. Recent research suggests that sleep is essential to learning and increases the potential for creativity. Psychology Today reported that the brain is actually very active during some phases of sleep, so that problem you may have wrestled with in the day is brought into sharper focus as you dream.
- A short nap helps to restore what sleep you may have lost in your week, adding to your overall health and well-being. UC San Diego sleep scientist Sara Mednick suggests that many Americans are sleep-deprived and that after the time change, when sleep-wake schedules are disrupted, “the number of heart attacks, car crashes and suicides increases.”
- Nod off and you will find yourself in good company. Notable nappers include: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush.
Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor of Southwest Riverside News Network.
*This article originally appeared on SWRNN.com on Dec. 8, 2011.