10 Things that Happen to Your Body When You Take a Nap

Napping makes you more alert

Napping sometimes gets a bad rap, as if shut-eye during the day indicates laziness. But some of the brightest minds in history, including Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, were famously nappers. And now, a new body of scientific research is showing the benefits of napping, and how a quick bout of sleep can regenerate body and mind. When you start falling into that mid-day slump, “a short nap interferes with ‘sleep drive,’ that sometimes irresistible feeling that you need to go to sleep, which will wreck concentration and alertness,” says Carl Bazil, MD, director of the Division of Sleep and Epilepsy at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. By taking the edge off with a nap, you feel restored, and more alert and attentive. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a NASA study on military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34 percent and alertness by a whopping 100 percent. Here are 11 tips for taking a nap that truly energizes you.

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