Napping or sleeping: which one to choose when you need to rest well?
No need to keep the suspense too long, Linda Bouayad-Amine, clinical psychologist and sleep specialist is categorical: in the match between nap and sleep, the nap wins by K.O. '' It is important to understand that nap is a physiological need"says the professional. "In theory, we are not 'built' not to take breaks of the day"she develops. Thus, between 2 pm and 4 pm, our organism - in full decline of performance - demands a break.
And if it is often perceived as laziness or humbug - at least in France what the sleep specialist has noticed - it would actually allow us to leave again. "After a nap, the body is at peak performance." "Moreover, if we do not give him breaks, this one, very smart, tends to take all alone", she says. They correspond to all these moments, in the day, or we deconcentrate. "In front of the computer for example, or more dangerous, at driving his car".
The commandments of a perfect nap
But there is a nap and a nap. The ideal is to rest between 14h and 16h, 20 to 40 minutes (to avoid going into a phase of deep sleep), which would spoil all the benefits of this famous cut and which would keep us in a cottony state. Other condition sine qua none : put yourself in complete darkness, portable off.
And for those who could not fall asleep? Do not panic, "just closing your eyes and taking this time as a time off is enough to be beneficial," says the clinical psychologist. "Even if we are not always aware, when we close our eyes, our nervous system slows down, our muscles relax, our heart and respiratory rate decreases."
Finally, last command to follow: "take a nap every day, so that the body integrates this habit and can be systematically re-po-se"continues Linda Bouayad-Amine.
What to think of the morning sleep?
On the other hand, sleeping in the morning can disrupt our biological clock. And this for two reasons. The first: because the hour of our awakening directly schedules the hour our next bedtime. "It automatically triggers the future secretion of melatonin (the sleep hormone)"explains the member of the European Society for Research and Sleep Medicine. The reasoning is purely mathematical: the more we get up late, the more we go to bed late, so. Of course, "everything is a question of sensitivity and ability to recalibrate", she says. Everyone is not equal to the greasy mornings.
Second reason, if the brain is accustomed to get up every morning around 7am, unconsciously around 6am, it will prepare to wake up and activate. When you opt for a late morning, so we tend to cut it in its tracks. To avoid then. "In a pinch, we can allow ourselves an extra hour of sleep", she reports, "But it's better to count on the nap of the afternoon to really recharge your batteries."
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