Taking a nap is one of the healthiest habits that exist, provided it is done correctly. Our body regenerates physically and mentally. In this post I teach you how to do the siesta well.
To rest a little after the meal is a quite old custom that although it is practiced by many towns, generally associates to the nations heiresses of the Greco-Latin culture; In fact, the word siesta comes from the verb “sestear” that the Romans created to designate the rest accustomed in the “sixth hour”, which in our present way of measuring the time corresponds to the period between 14:00 and 16: 00 hours.
Benefits of taking a nap for health:
- Decreases the risks of cardiovascular disease by 37%.
- Capacity increases concentration in dividual 34%.
- Improves alert ability due to restful sleep.
- Decreases the degree of stress.
- Produces an improvement in digestion (provided that meals are not very copious) because it relaxes the muscles involved in the digestive system.
To sleep well, you must make sure that the place of your nap is quiet, without noise and that the temperature is pleasant. As far as possible, it is also important that there is no light to sleep. Keep in mind that if you nap very late, it can affect you in the dream at night.
In addition, naps may have some drawbacks: for example, sleep inertia, that feeling of disorientation that many people feel for ten or twenty minutes after sleep, and some studies have linked the nap with an increased risk of heart failure.
Here are 6 recommendations to take a good nap:
1) It should be short.
Beyond 30 minutes we run the risk of getting upset and even more tired. Ideally, it takes 26 minutes to be exact. This is revealed by a study conducted by NASA with its air controllers.
2) Do not get into bed.
A sofa or a hammock is much better places for a nap.
3) Open windows.
To promote oxygenation during the siesta, it is better to rest with an open window or, better still, outdoors (in the summer, in the shade).
4) Help digest.
Sleeping the nap facilitates the digestive process, since the body should only worry about fulfilling that mission. However, it is better not to abuse strong foods or copious meals.
5) Attend the biological clock.
Following the norm of a short nap, everyone should listen to what their own body clock asks for.
6) Succumb to temptation.
Do not confuse nap with laziness. A restful rest is an excellent stimulant to keep up.
The need for relaxation that we feel after food is intimately linked to the energetic decline suffered by the organism after eating. All this has a physiological explanation: the digestive tract needs a greater supply of blood to fulfill its function, so the muscles, skin and even the brain are in the background and the nervous, respiratory and circulatory activities are altered by the Lower blood supply.
This is why we are unable to get up from the table with the last bite and follow at full pace. And the more copious or heavy the food has been, the more work the body will have to digest it!
Sleeping and resting are part of the rhythms of nature, like the rhythms of the sun and the moon. Our internal clock also depends on these cycles, accepting also that it is he who marks our need for brief breaks.
Having a tea or a coffee after eating to “clear” us does not make much sense. Why interfere with the need for relaxation that our body masks the relaxation of muscles and brain with the consumption of exciting substances? At first it can work, but after a few hours, the physical and intellectual performance suddenly descends and we need more and more exciting to follow at full speed.
The goal of the nap, on the other hand, is to stabilize the physical and mental functions, collaborating with our body instead of fighting it.
Of course, it’s one thing to take a break, not to interfere with the digestive process, and quite another to slow digestion by sleeping too long.
And how do we know how long to devote ourselves to the pleasure of siesta without losing our faculties when we wake up? The key is to listen to the biological clock we all carry inside. That explains why some people have enough to close their eyes sitting on a chair to regain strength, while others need to lie down for 30 minutes on the sofa.
It all depends on the time that each one needs to overcome the fatigue and heaviness of the first hour of the afternoon. If we fall short, we will not have achieved our regenerative purpose. If we pass, we run the risk of feeling confused and not agile when we wake up. And it would be a shame to waste all the advantages of siesta.