Naps Make You Less Compulsive, Less Frustrated, And Are Generally Awesome, Says New Study, So Let's All Have A Siesta Today
Turns out your afternoon nap does a lot more than just stave off sleep deprivation. According to new research, taking a nap helps combat compulsive behavior and ease frustration in adults. And we all know that you need that just as much now as you did when you were in kindergarten.
Here's how the new research breaks down, because obviously the fact that we all have another reason to take a snooze today should be celebrated for all it's worth:
According to research from the University of Michigan, a "brief, midday nap" is a great way to counteract frustration and impulsive tendencies. In the study, participants between the ages of 18 and 40 maintained a consistent sleep schedule for three days; then they filled out questionnaires about their sleepiness, mood, and impulsivity, and performed cognitive tests. Some of the participants then took a 60 minute nap, while others in the "no nap" condition watched a nature program. Afterwards, participants filled out the questionnaires and took the cognitive tasks again.
The researchers report that the people who took a nap not only reported feeling less impulsive, but also were more committed to the cognitive tasks they were assigned and worked on them for longer. In other words, taking a nap makes you more focused and productive — which is something I think everyone needs in an age where Facebook is just a few flicks of the wrist away. Maybe employers should start having nap time?
This isn't the first study to sing the praises of naps, of course. Studies have shown that sleeping in the middle of the day is good for everything from memory to immortality, which might be why people are becoming more and more interested in finding the perfect nap spot in their busy adult lives. But according to this study, naps might be more than a throw-back to your childhood. They are also important for adult functioning.
As the authors of the study explain in the abstract, "emotional control may become impaired from wakefulness that builds across the day," and naps can prove to be an "effective countermeasure" for preventing that impaired function.
“Our results suggest that napping may be a beneficial intervention for individuals who may be required to remain awake for long periods of time by enhancing the ability to persevere through difficult or frustrating tasks,” said Jennifer Goldschmied, a doctoral student at the Department of Psychology at U Michigan, in the press release.
So basically, you didn't really outgrow nap time along with juice boxes and coloring books. (Though who says that you have to outgrow those, either?) Naps: They're not just for five-year-olds anymore.