Happens To Your Body When You Nap



For some people, the siesta has a negative connotation, synonymous with laziness, or that moment of rest is important for the body and has positive effects on health. This is what happens to your body when you do not take siesta.

In general, humans sleep once per day. Scientists have also struggled to agree on the role of the siesta. Is it necessary for optimal functioning of the body? The modern lifestyle suggests that yes, since it requires more hours of work and less time to rest.


According to experts, nap is effective in alleviating sleep disorders, it can also stimulate the brain, verbal memory, perceptual learning and statistical learning. Furthermore, several studies have shown that there is a link between napping and improved cognitive performance. Indeed, nap would help to have a better memory and consolidate learning. According to scientists, people who nap are more dynamic and creative in the afternoon than those who do not engage in it. In Japan, many companies have set up in their local areas dedicated to nap - more or less compulsory - for their employees.

Here the effects of napping on your body:

  • Improves mood
  • Prevents somnolence
  • Prevents fatigue
  • Prevents stress
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Avoid gaining weight
  • Improves cognitive functions
  • Promotes relaxation


In Greece, the scientists found that adults taking a nap at least three times a week were 37% less likely to die from heart disease unlike those found to be not engaged. This discovery has attracted the attention of several scientists, including NASA. They have published a study in 1995 that focused on the benefits of napping on 747 drivers. Each was allowed to sleep during the day. The pilots did not exceed half an hour of rest. Conclusion: alertness was improved by 16%.


In hot countries, this moment of rest is widely practiced because the sun does not allow very physical activity. In Spain, for example, employees return to work in the afternoon around 15h or 16h to have time to have lunch and rest after. The scientists also found that in countries where people practice the siesta, the rate of heart attacks is small compared to countries where the siesta is not a habit.

In addition, the siesta is highly recommended by many sleep specialists because it would significantly reduce road accidents and improve memorization.

What is the ideal length of a nap?

When you take a nap, the effects on the body are varied. On the brain, the benefits of napping depend on its duration:

- A nap of 20 minutes: improves memory, specifically alertness and learning skills.

- A nap of 20 to 30 minutes stimulates memory and creativity.

- A nap of 30 to 60 minutes improves the decision-making faculties and memory.

- A nap of 60 to 90 minutes: the ultimate nap because the person reaches full sleep cycle. It improves cognitive memory and helps form memories.

When the nap is not a good idea

Napping is not beneficial for everyone, there are always exceptions. When some people take a nap after lunch, they have trouble falling asleep at night. Other people get to sleep that evening after a nap. Moreover, after this moment of rest, feeling lightheaded can take over and the person sometimes has trouble concentrating. In such situations, experts advise such persons to avoid naps.


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