To sleep or not to sleep? 13 facts about the benefits and harms of siesta

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Sies­ta is an after­noon nap. It is a tra­di­tion in Spain, Greece, Italy. It starts from 13–14 hours and lasts until 15–17. In these coun­tries, most of the insti­tu­tions fol­low the tra­di­tions, and, despite the influx of vis­i­tors, close their doors for the after­noon rest. The impor­tance of day­time sleep is often under­es­ti­mat­ed, but after try­ing it once, the pos­i­tive results can be felt imme­di­ate­ly. Togeth­er with Healthy­in­fo, we found out why the sies­ta is so impor­tant and what are the pros and cons of an after­noon nap.

Benefits of a siesta

1. Mem­o­ry improves

It has been proven that sleep after study­ing a large amount of infor­ma­tion helps to bet­ter remem­ber it and com­pre­hend it. Day­time sleep in this case is equat­ed to a full-fledged night.

2. Eas­i­er to draw con­clu­sions

When solv­ing a dif­fi­cult task or prob­lem, day­time naps can help with find­ing the answer. Dur­ing sleep, the infor­ma­tion received ear­li­er is ana­lyzed and the nec­es­sary con­nec­tions can be found. In 2016, a study was con­duct­ed by domes­tic doc­tors, as a result of which it was proved that day­time sleep sta­bi­lizes the speed of deci­sion-mak­ing and increas­es the dura­tion of gaze fix­a­tion.

3. Improves mood

With over­work, depressed mood, day­time sleep helps to relax and improve mood. Even if you didn’t man­age to fall asleep ful­ly, relax­ing for an hour has a pos­i­tive effect on the body.

4. Short sleep is more ben­e­fi­cial

Day­time sleep should be no more than 30 min­utes. 10 min­utes is con­sid­ered ide­al. It is dur­ing this time that the body sinks into sleep, relax­es and after that only a feel­ing of cheer­ful­ness remains. With a longer sies­ta, it takes time to wake up and there is a chance that you will be more sleepy than when you went to bed. This phe­nom­e­non is called sleep iner­tia.

5. Sleep is bet­ter than cof­fee

When feel­ing tired and unwill­ing to con­cen­trate, there is always a desire to drink a cup of strong cof­fee. The best solu­tion in this sit­u­a­tion would be to sleep. 10 min­utes sleep is much more effec­tive than caf­feine. The use of a hot drink has a stim­u­lat­ing effect on the ner­vous sys­tem, car­dio­vas­cu­lar, excre­to­ry, diges­tive. The pres­sure ris­es, the pulse quick­ens, uri­na­tion and the secre­tion of gas­tric juice increase.

In turn, dur­ing day­time sleep, the body gets the oppor­tu­ni­ty to relax and unwind. As a result, nat­ur­al cheer­ful­ness appears and the abil­i­ty to con­cen­trate improves with­out any addi­tion­al stim­u­la­tion.

6. Reduces stress lev­els

With increased stress or after a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion, sleep helps to relax. This gives strength and time to ade­quate­ly assess the sit­u­a­tion and rethink some points. No won­der there is a proverb: “You need to sleep with a prob­lem.”

7. Helps Reduce Blood Pres­sure

After a busy day at work or some kind of stress, blood pres­sure may rise. You can take a pill, or you can just take a nap. Sleep­ing for an hour has been proven to help low­er blood pres­sure with­out the use of any aids.

8. Improves the qual­i­ty of sleep at night

The para­dox is that the bet­ter you sleep dur­ing the day, the bet­ter your sleep will be at night. How­ev­er, the sies­ta must be cor­rect. It is best to arrange it between 13 and 15 hours. Pre­ced­ing phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, prefer­ably out­doors, is also impor­tant. A walk in the fresh air, a light nap after it will improve not only well-being, but also mood. This infor­ma­tion is espe­cial­ly rel­e­vant for old­er peo­ple who have prob­lems with sleep.

9. Helps chil­dren devel­op

The child’s brain has a huge capac­i­ty for assim­i­la­tion of infor­ma­tion, but they are not unlim­it­ed. That is why peri­ods of day­time sleep are so impor­tant for a child, dur­ing which the brain rests, and then it can again active­ly per­ceive a vari­ety of infor­ma­tion. The younger the child, the more such peri­ods of “reboot” should be.

Disadvantages of daytime sleep

Disadvantages of daytime sleep

    The appearance of lethargy

This is a fair­ly com­mon con­se­quence of day­time sleep. Most often, lethar­gy and a feel­ing of weak­ness are asso­ci­at­ed with exces­sive sleep (more than 1.5 hours). Or with increased fatigue of the body, which needs a full night’s sleep to recov­er, and it sim­ply does not have enough day­time sleep.

    Night sleep disturbance

A night’s sleep may be dis­rupt­ed one-time or even the sched­ule may be off. This is espe­cial­ly impor­tant for insom­nia. Day­time sleep with any sleep dis­or­ders will only exac­er­bate the exist­ing prob­lem.

    Headache

Headache after day­time sleep is dull, unpleas­ant. The use of any drugs (NSAIDs) usu­al­ly does not work. The solu­tion to this prob­lem is a good night’s sleep and rest. With active men­tal activ­i­ty, the headache can go away on its own.

Day rest rules

Day rest rules

Any vaca­tion should take place in com­fort­able con­di­tions. Even if you can’t fall asleep and relax, you need to do this in the most con­ve­nient place. It is desir­able that it be a bed or a sofa, a large arm­chair is allowed. It is best to remove all tight cloth­ing. Put a pil­low under your head, and nev­er try to sleep at your desk (stiff neck mus­cles, back pain and headache after this are pro­vid­ed).

    it is better to arrange a daily break for sleep at the same time;
    siesta should be no later than 15 hours;
    the minimum duration of sleep is 10 minutes, the maximum is 2 hours;
    Be sure to set an alarm so as not to knock down the sleep-wake schedule.

To sleep or not to sleep in the day­time — every­one decides for him­self. How­ev­er, the ben­e­fits of sies­ta for the body are sig­nif­i­cant. Not just because in some coun­tries it is con­sid­ered a tra­di­tion. Lit­er­al­ly 10–20 min­utes of sleep will help get rid of a bad mood, rethink the infor­ma­tion received and bet­ter con­cen­trate on solv­ing prob­lems and prob­lems. Day­time sleep is espe­cial­ly impor­tant for chil­dren, whose ner­vous sys­tem is not yet ful­ly formed, and for the elder­ly, who often have prob­lems with a full night’s sleep.

dog, sleeping dog, domestic animal
chickens, birds, group
cat, animal, dormant
cat, is sleeping, reddish
cat, animal, is sleeping

Healthy­in­fo also rec­om­mends read­ing Day­time Naps: What’s the Ben­e­fit of a Sies­ta?

By Yraa

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