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Unveiled The Secrets Of The “Perfect Nap”: Latest Discoveries From The Science Of Sleep

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Rest is one of the determining factors for optimal psychophysical health. Some studies have determined that it takes just ten minutes to rest to reduce stress, but night sleep hours have a specific weight essential for health, productivity and mental freshness.

The paces imposed by today’s society are increasingly hectic and the tendency to lose hours of sleep is becoming more frequent. In the collective imagination, the adage

The habit of sleeping less to do more, adopted by the most varied sleeping techniques of illustrious and luminaries of history, has helped to create the myth that prefer fewer hours of sleep to profit productivity, but is it really so?

Siobhan Banks, researcher at the University of South Australia, said “In the last 10 or 15 years, it has been shown that metabolism and immune system are affected by sleep deprivation” and continuing “The ability to properly metabolize foods, to People with prolonged short sleep periods are at higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.”

Other adverse effects caused by sleep deprivation are related to memory problems, slow reflexes and fatigue, typical symptoms of night sleeplessness.

Several characters throughout history have tried tricks to make a sufficient rest that would not affect productivity. Some testimonies come from Leonardo da Vinci’s polyphasic sleep strategy and Nikola Tesla’s.

According to Banks, although these techniques in the long run do not seem to benefit the organism, since all foresee the decrease of sleep hours, their winning secret would be to divide sleep into “support naps.”

Trying to integrate the methods with a sufficient amount of hours, he suggests “For many operating environments, people could sleep four or five hours, integrating a nap of one or two hours in the afternoon.”

The principle is to sleep a fair number of hours at night. Naps cannot completely replace deep sleep cycles, as these are made up of two basic components for brain rest, namely REM phase and non-REM sleep.

Among the different periods of sleep, each with its importance, the crucial stage for a restorative sleep is assumed to be the phase three of non-REM sleep. According to these assumptions, this seems involved in the re-sourcing and recovery of cognitive functions of the brain and in the proper maintenance of sleep, as well as giving that feeling of lucidity and freshness in the morning.

It is very fascinating, as this phase lasts only between 70 and 120 minutes, which can be obtained even with just 4 or 5 hours of night sleep. In this sense, short naps during the day can be used to get a wider period of sleep.

If the nap technique alone is not enough, Banks has another trick in store to satisfy the thirst for sleep. The technique has been called the

Introduced caffeine before your nap may help us limit the time of sleep without affecting the beneficial qualities of the same, exploiting the ability of caffeine to prevent the accumulation of adenosine in the brain. Moreover, the usefulness of coffee would be best expressed with a late morning intake, which allows to remain energetic in the afternoon without causing sleepless nights.

The genetic component also plays a role in the amount of sleep needed. “Some people need more hours, while others manage to get away with a smaller amount of sleep,” says Banks.

In order to avoid the negative effects of sleep loss and obtain a healthy and revitalizing rest, it is necessary to sleep a sufficient number of night hours, the quantity of which is subjective, and to integrate this sleep through the beneficial contribution of short naps.

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