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How Napping Can Make You Thinner, Smarter and Happier (Seriously.)

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Dima Sidelnikov

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Dima Sidelnikov

Logging extra zzz’s doesn’t just make you feel good and well-rested, it’s also beneficial for your overall health. Studies have repeatedly shown that napping increases alertness, enhances the ability to perform tasks, and improves happiness throughout the day. So if you’re planning on introducing naps into your everyday schedule, here are five benefits to look forward to: 

  1. Increased productivity. A quick nap could mean that you plow through those emails and spreadsheets much faster than you might sans-nap.
  2. Enhanced alertness. In a study that observed fatigue management, strategic napping was deemed a smart technique to combat midday distractions and keep employees focused. And, in another study conducted by NASA, pilots who napped exhibited 34 percent fewer performance lapses (i.e. quicker reaction speed) later on in the flight than their colleagues who did not nap.
  3. Weight management. Studies cited by CNN have determined that insufficient sleep can cause hormonal imbalances that lead to weight gain. Meanwhile, Health.com refers to a University of Chicago study in which dieters who were well-rested lost more fat and retained more muscle mass than subjects who slept less.
  4. Better memory. In April, researchers published an article stating that napping aids associative memory (the type of memory where you can recall the relationship between unrelated things). Subjects who napped after learning new information performed better than those who did not nap and instead watched DVDs.
  5. Improved mood. Unsurprisingly, a daytime rest coupled with the above benefits could make you feel happier. In multiple studies, a sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) was able to measure arousal and predict how the nap would improve subjects’ moods.

Tip: Keep ‘em short. The Sleep Foundation suggests keeping naps in the 20 – 30 minute range to ensure you wake up reenergized instead of groggy.

For more information on how Independence Blue Cross can be a part of your plan for health and wellness, click here.

Sponsor content is created for IBX by Philadelphia magazine as a marketing collaboration with IBX. This material is intended for reference and information only and should not be used in place of advice from a doctor or suitable qualified healthcare professionals.