COVID-19 has made the world a more stressful place for everyone. You have to stay away from your loved ones, learn to work from home and educate your kids because they can’t go to school. There might also be financial stressors making your life more complicated, which isn’t easy on your mental or physical health.
If you’re struggling with stress or anxiety and feel exhausted, it’s time to consider the art of the siesta. In a world that rewards busybodies, it’s hard to remember that naps are good for you. It’s time to take back your peace of mind and add a few naps to your weekly schedule.
Check out how you can use naps to your advantage and why they’re so helpful. Once you make them part of your routine, you’ll feel more rested and ready to conquer your day.
1. Stick With Tradition
Many people wonder what the difference is between a nap and a siesta. The siesta originated in Spain thousands of years ago and restructured the Spanish society so everyone had time to rest. They typically began at noon because it was the hottest time of the day when no one wanted to be outside.
You can always start your siesta experience by sticking with tradition and nap at noon. If you don’t feel tired at that point, pay attention to when your energy levels drop during the week so you find the ideal nap time for yourself.
2. Fight Sleep Deprivation
Experts recommend that adults get eight hours of sleep every night, but that’s not always possible. You might stay up late to take care of your kids or finish a work project. COVID-related stress could also lead to more insomnia because it makes you feel stressed.
Naps will help you fight sleep deprivation naturally, instead of chugging another energy drink or cup of coffee. As you sleep, you’ll reset your circadian rhythm so you’re tired in the evening and form a regular sleep routine.
3. Take a Tech Break
People interact with tech every day, which harms your health. Phone and computer screens emit blue light and damage your retinal cells, leading to eye strain, vision problems and even migraines.
Another advantage of taking daily siestas is the decreased use of technology. Whether you rest for thirty minutes or two hours, you’ll give your eyes a blue light break and keep your eyesight from deteriorating.
4. Find More Productivity
Struggling to find the productivity you once had in your old routine? It may be due to your sleep habits. When people nap, they experience more natural energy, feel alert and increase their creative problem-solving skills. Enjoy a quick siesta and you could have the improved cognitive performance you’re looking for to get your productivity back.
5. Stay Cool and Comfortable
Many people feel like they can’t stay asleep for very long, so napping seems impossible. The answer may be an issue of body temperature. The University of South Australia conducted a study and found that some forms of insomnia result from poor body temperature, specifically when people feel overheated.
You can get all the benefits of a siesta when you stay cool and comfortable. Turn on a fan or set your thermostat a few degrees lower. Worried about your energy bill? Look into high-efficiency air conditioners, which cut energy use by 20-50% so you can save money while you get better sleep.
6. Lose More Weight
Losing weight can be a challenge, but napping could help you reach your goal. Stress, anxiety and exhaustion often result in unhealthy cravings and less physical activity. Napping will restore your energy and peace of mind so you feel up to exercising and sticking with healthy foods.
7. Practice Deep Breathing
Sometimes you might nap and feel groggy afterward. Usually, this is a sign that your circadian rhythm is off because it takes too long to fall asleep. You can fall asleep faster and skip that post-nap lethargy when you practice deep breathing techniques to calm your mind and heart rate. As you slow your breathing, you’ll feel more relaxed and slip into a refreshing deep sleep.
Schedule Your Next Siesta
If you’re not used to napping during the day, work it into your schedule so you remember to try. Ease into a restful siesta when you feel tired to experience benefits like deeper sleep, weight loss and improved productivity.