We all know what it’s like to not have enough sleep and feel underslept. In fact, even though society has never worked (or played!) harder, the sad fact is that we’ve never slept worse. We’re constantly jumping from one thing to the next, running ourselves to the point of exhaustion…yet not getting the sleep we so desperately need.

Sometimes we don’t even know how to rest on our days off; to make full use of this time so that we’re better equipped for the week ahead. We wind up being sleep-deprived, grumpy zombies who have no idea how to catch up on lost zzzs and to be able to face the world again.

There is a good reason why power naps are a thing. Because even a 15-minute nap can reset your whole mindset, turning you from a lethargic mess into an energised bunny. (Well, pretty close to it.)  

Napping is something we did a lot when we were kids, and which we’ll do again when we’re in our golden years. So why not embrace a good ol’ nap now, when we need it more than ever? With this in mind, here are 5 IDEAL reasons you should nap more often.

THE JAPANESE DO IT

If it’s good enough for the busiest, most productive workers out there, it’s good enough for me! Sit on any form of public transport in Japan – bullet train, the underground or the bus – and you’ll notice that at least 50% of its inhabitants are enjoying a lovely nap. The salarymen, the school girls, the elegant ladies in traditional kimono – all napping away, without so much as a hint of drool!

Japanese people have got naps down to a fine art; and they’re not ashamed to show it. They even have a name for it –“inemuri” (which roughly translates to sleeping while present) and believe it’s the sign of a hard worker. So take a leaf out of their book. Don’t be shy, nap when you can, and be more alert for your waking hours!

NAPPING MAKES YOU MORE PRODUCTIVE

Those salarymen I mentioned above are far from lazy. No, they realise that napping can actually make them more productive in their work; meaning happier bosses and more lucrative careers. Ever noticed how some days you’re a hive of productivity, waking up for an early swim, cleaning the kitchen, making your kids’ lunch and prepping for that presentation all before you’re sat at your desk by 9am?

Other days, of course, you can’t even function enough to log in, or to remember your boss’ name. The key difference between these two scenarios is a lack of…nope, not caffeine…sleep. If you’re sleep deprived, you simply can’t function properly. Your brain’s cognitive ability is diminished and you lack the energy to be as productive as you normally would. What’s more, you probably feel physically drained, too. The general solution would be to get more sleep. (And there’s lots of great resources out there, the mighty Sleep Advisor, that can help you do so.)

In the meantime, nap when you can. And say hello to a more productive you!

NAPPING BOOSTS YOUR HEALTH

Getting enough, good-quality sleep has all kinds of physical and mental health benefits. The thing is, if you’re sleep deprived, you open yourself up to conditions like diabetes, heart disease, anxiety and depression. This is thanks to a weaker immune system, higher blood sugar levels and the cumulative effects of poor sleep on your mind.

When you’re well rested, however, your health gets a major boost. Your immune system will be stronger so you won’t fall prey to every bug going around. And because you feel fit and strong, you’re more likely to exercise often and eat well – which is good news for both body and mind!

NAPPING IS THE MARK OF A GENIUS

Geniuses like Einstein knew how important naps were; you should too! And Einstein didn’t pull that amazing bed hair out of thin air. Because although we may never know what made the father of modern physics so damn clever, it seems that his sleeping habits may have had quite a bit to do with it.

Apparently Einstein didn’t believe in burning the candle at both ends; rather he enjoyed 10 hours of sleep each night and at least one nap per day. How he ever managed to get any work done is beyond me!

Ok so you might not have the luxury of sleeping quite this much. But the napping thing is definitely a smart move to make.

YOU’LL BE A NICER PERSON

If the world could be a happier, more peaceful place through sleep alone, wouldn’t you want to contribute to this effect? Of course you would!

Getting enough sleep means you won’t be that irritable zombie who snaps at the barista for getting your coffee order wrong or who suffers from bouts of road rage. No, you’ll be a ‘glass half-full’ kind of person who thoughtfully remembers everyone’s birthdays and sends little gifts to brighten their day. You’ll be the optimist in the office, the one who enjoys their work and never had a bad word to say. Imagine, a world full of these more patient, well-rested people!

And you can start contributing to it now. Start by taking a nap and see how much better the world looks afterwards.

So, there it is folks – 5 ideal reasons for napping! Enjoy the benefits they bring to your life and don’t forget to spread the word about the power of a nap.