This is a different type of Currents, but we’re still addressing trends. The trend—Americans are not getting enough sleep. Axios reports that one-third of us don’t get enough sleep at night (I know I don’t).
Sleep matters. The lack of it, Axios reports, can lead to obesity, depression, anxiety, heart failure, and dementia. And it has consequences for business owners too. Not getting enough sleep can affect our alertness, memory, and ability to reason.
Axios adds that 80% of us think taking naps is the solution (though if I had time to nap, I’d have time to sleep more). Axios suggests that while naps are not an adequate replacement for a good night’s rest, “the right kind of nap can alleviate the shorter-term effects of sleep deprivation.”
They cite nap research showing that napping increases endurance and physical performance. Even short naps can relieve stress. Plus, Axios says a study from Johns Hopkins comparing nappers to non-nappers showed the nappers “were better at recalling things and drawing figures—both signs of strong cognitive function.”
So what’s the right way to nap? According to Axios:
- The Sleep Foundationsays you should nap for 20 to 30 minutes. Any longer will likely leave you groggy.
- The Mayo Clinic advises you to take naps in the early afternoon. Napping later (after 3 in the afternoon) could interfere with falling asleep at night.
Take it from me; I know it can be hard to break the cycle of staying up too late or getting up too early. I’m still trying to break my own bad sleep habits. Hope you have better luck than I do.