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SLEEP or NAP: Which one is Better?

Sleep Vs Nap. According to the American Academy of Sleep and Sleep

Research Society, teenagers require 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Now the question arises why sleep is a necessity? Viewing through the scientific prism, recent findings have suggested that sleep is a vital factor in cleaning out trash from our brain. The Glymphatic System – wherein the brain cell size reduce by 60% owing to which this trash removing mechanism becomes way easier. Also, sleep is important to maintain and strengthen the long-term memory of the person. It improves retention and sharpens our attentive span. Lesser sleep may interfere with our heart health. Researches have constantly stated that sleep 7 hours per day reduce the chances of experiencing a heart attack or heart strokes. If you are one who suffers from mood swings or floats through the day with low energy then, sleep is your friend. Also, it helps in maintaining weight as during sleep GH spikes which being a lipolytic hormone promotes fat used as fuel and prevents fat storage.

But the problem in this fast growing world is, everyone is a hustler, wrangling ways to the top and in this expedition, many of us suffer from sleep deprivation. Ironically, the studies had estimated that sleep deprivation costs business losses over $100 Bn each year in the US alone. Now, let’s throw some spotlight on other effects of lack of sleep. It has a direct and instantaneous effect on the mental, physical as well as emotional mental states. Fragmented sleep impairs the concrete and emotional memories forming abilities. Skimping on sleep dwindles with the brain filters which response to stimuli, resulting in hallucinations. Lesser sleep hampers with the visual cortex of the brain which is linked with our focus. Wrong information is also incorporated into our brain. All the scientific studies unveil the same results that a sleep of 7-9 hours is a necessity. But as exceptions are always there, here also, as per the resources, “The Genius” Einstein used to sleep for just 3-4 hours thriving on naps of few minutes.

What science has to say regarding this?

Cockpit Napping
Cockpit Napping

A 1995 study done by NASA on 747 pilots came out with astonishing results. Participants of “Rest Group” were allowed to take a nap for 40 minutes followed by their examination which revealed vigilance in their performance from 16% to 34%. Naps can vary from 6 minutes of power naps to Rapid Eye Movement i.e. 90 minutes nap. A 90 minutes nap is almost a complete sleep cycle helps in improving creativity, emotional memory and even helps in learning new skills whereas 6 minutes power naps boost energy, alertness and freshness. Regardless of the duration, naps increase productivity manifolds and also naps are way better than caffeine. As per the San Diego Study [University of California], the test scores of the people under the effect of caffeine were lower than those who napped. Moreover, it will help in improving the memory, mood and performance.

   So for all those hustlers out there, if sleeping 7 hours straight is not your thing then, go for magical naps during the daytime. Thus, it will sound safe to say that naps are happy, horizontal life pauses.

1 comment

Prashant July 31, 2018 at 6:04 pm

Nice article anjali, it’s very informative about our health . 👍👍


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