By Amanda Schupak
At some point we outgrew nap time. We were told to put away our mats and convinced that, as adults, we were supposed to be able to just stay awake all day and function normally. But, that doesn’t always work. Long workdays, a never-ending to-do list, and the constant barrage of blinking, flashing, beeping devices contribute to an epidemic of sleep deprivation that’s cutting into productivity, health, and happiness.
Naps aren’t just for kids. And, they're not a sign of laziness or weakness, either. Quite the opposite, in fact. Here are 12 perfectly respectable reasons to take a nap.
4. Naps reduce workplace accidents, especially among shift workers, like air traffic controllers and nurses and doctors, whose schedules are inherently unnatural.
6. You’ve got a long drive ahead of you. Often, sleep-deprived people don’t realize they’re sleep-deprived, says sleep expert Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. That’s dangerous if you’re getting behind the wheel. A preemptive nap could prevent a car accident. Breus recommends what he calls a “nap-a-latte.” Brew a cup of drip coffee (the most caffeinated of preparations), cool it with ice, and chug it down. The caffeine will take 25 minutes to kick in. Use that time for a brief nap, then hit the road. “It’s a quick way to get about four hours’ worth of energy,” he says.
9. You’re stressed. Naps have been shown to help with stress management.
10. It’ll boost your mood. Women are especially sensitive to “sleep pressure,” according to a 2009 study, which is a fancy way of saying we’re less happy when we’re tired and more happy when we get to nap.
12. You’re tired. That’s a good enough reason right there. Sleep deprivation makes the day harder and is just all around bad for your health. If you didn’t get the sleep you need last night, make up for it with a nap, right now.