Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Napping for well being

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – You might think that you got all you need to know from those times you fell asleep in your high school calculus class, but there is a lot more to napping than meets the eye.

You may be most familiar with the Spanish siesta. A cultural habit in Spain, as well as Spanish influence on other Hispanic countries and colonies, like the Philippines was formerly, the word "siesta" derives from the Latin phrase hora sexta or "sixth hour" (counting from dawn, this is around midday).

The practice of napping also has a strong presence in Southern Italy, where museums, churches and shops close midday for riposo. In Japan, employees are often encouraged to take naps during the work day, not only to increase performance but also because the need for a nap supposedly shows that an employee is "working hard."

Sleep itself is a vital necessity for the body and mind. Not getting enough sleep can cause physical health problems such as high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, weight gain, vulnerability to colds and flu, and even increased risk for more serious illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

Risks for the brain from lack of sleep include irritability, trouble focusing, poor reflexes, forgetfulness, and decreased coordination and balance. Continuous sleep deprivation is a problem and needs to be treated by lifestyle changes and a visit to a doctor. But naps can temporarily help remedy some of the side effects.

Napping also offers many benefits for those who more or less get a good amount of sleep but want a little boost during the day. Taking brief naps at a reasonable time during the day has proven to increase alertness, improve the ability to perform tasks, improve overall mood, increase creativity, and increase memory performance.

It's like a form of resetting one's system. In fact, the idea that people are supposed to have one big sleep at night and stay awake until the following night is a relatively new one. Scientists now say humans are actually hardwired to take naps or at least have more than one sleep per 24-hour cycle. And historians have found some evidence to back up this claim.

On the subject of naps, here are some ideas to consider:

. It's good to nap at a regular time. Studies show the best time to nap is in the middle of the day, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

. In order to properly regulate napping time, the alarm clock of the mobile phone can help.  Setting the alarm on the phone for between 20 and 30 minutes is ideal. Any time more than 30 minutes is likely to result in grogginess upon waking up, lasting  for up to an hour and  possibly for the rest of the day.

. The light shall be blocked out. The room where to nap in shall preferably be as dark as can be, or a sleeping mask shall be worn. Blocking out light helps make falling asleep faster and gives a more restful nap. (Blackout curtains may also be installed in the room for optimal sleep and nap conditions.

. Sleep is better in the right ambient temperature. The room shall be just comfortably warm, so with air-conditioning a blanket shall be on hand to grab whenever necessary.

Several famous people are known to be nappers: Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Napoleon Bonaparte, Salvador Dali and Albert Einstein. This means that those with the urge to nap during the day shall not feel guilty. It might be that you really need it. (www.lifehack.org)Spiritually Managing Anger











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