The beloved catnap – how an afternoon snooze can make a world of difference
We would all slip in a sneaky afternoon siesta if we could, but why does everyone love a catnap and what is it about them that makes us feel so good afterwards?
It’s unlikely that you will find many individuals who don’t experience that midday post-lunch lethargy, but what can be done to overcome this irritating inconvenience? Well take a nap of course.
Whilst it may not always be convenient to catch some afternoon ZZZs if you are at your desk or in a meeting, if you can afford to fit in a half an hour power nap here is what it could do for you:
Sleep-promoting chemical adenosine builds up in the body throughout the day and causes drowsiness, meaning that if you skip a night of shut-eye the levels continue to build leaving eyelids feeling heavy and you feeling lethargic.
However, when you begin to drift off to sleep and the body begins to relax, the accumulation of adenosine in the body starts to break down.
At the same time, the adrenal glands begin to stash away cortisol – a chemical in the body which helps you to feel both more awake and alert upon waking, and your immune system will begin to recover and reset itself after feeling out of sync from the fatigue.
Upon waking to an alarm, the brain will release a high volume of chemicals that signal to the body to shut down the sleep center and restart the body.
Whilst a catnap can’t solve sleep deprivation or replace normal sleep, if you are looking for an afternoon pick-me-up to leave you feeling rested, more active and capable, we suggest you find yourself a pillow and get napping.
View and comment on the original article from Women’s Health Magazine.