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#ScienceSpeaks How To Be Happy, Creative, And Focused? Start Taking Naps!

Happiness is relative; happiness is a choice, a conscious one that you make each and every day. You choose what makes you happy, rather than waiting for happiness to come to you. Happiness is distinct to each and every individual. But is there one way that could make everyone happy?

Apparently, there is. If you want to know how to be happy, then you should start napping!

Suggested read: How to be more productive at work? Get your freak on, says Science!

It’s common knowledge that your body heals and repairs itself when you sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your overall health and mental well-being, which in turn helps reduce your risk if heart disease, while increasing daily productivity. People are usually discouraged from taking naps, instead encouraged to get a good night’s rest in one long stretch. But is there an alternative?

Taking a nap is key to happiness!

woman smiling_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Yes, new research suggests that happiness is related to napping. The research was done by psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire for the Edinburgh Internationl Science Festival.

For the study, over 1,000 participants were roped in and asked to rate both their happiness as well as if they had napped during the day. These participants were then classified into three distinct groups:

  • No Nappers
  • Short Nappers (naps under 30 minutes)
  • Long Nappers (naps over 30 minutes)

Based on the participants’ replies, happiness scores were obtained. The results of the study showed a distinct relationship between napping and happiness, where 66% of Short Nappers revealed that they were happy, when compared to just 56% of Long Nappers and 60% of No Nappers. On a five-point scale, Short Nappers had an average happiness score of 3.67, as compared to 3.52 for No Nappers and 3.44 for Long Nappers.

woman sleeping_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Talking about the results of the study, Wiseman noted,

“Previous research has shown that naps of under 30 minutes make you more focused, productive and creative, and these new findings suggest the tantalizing possibility that you can also become happier by just taking a short nap. Similarly, longer napping is associated with several health risks and again, this is in line with our results.”

The results show that almost 15% more of younger participants took naps than those aged over 50. Among the participants, only 11% admitted that they were allowed to nap at work. additionally, 57% respondents wished that their employers would encourage napping at work.

These results are consistent with previous research that show that younger generations are not getting enough sleep during night time. The research revealed that when compared to 30% participants over 50 who napped, 43% of those in the age group 18-30 took long naps.

Additionally, Wiseman noted that,

“A large body of research shows that short naps boosts performance. Many highly successful companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s and Google, have installed dedicated nap spaces, and employees need to wake up to the upside of napping at work.”

Previous studies have shown that napping for a short period of time like 20-30 minutes helps improve creativity, performance, and focus.

A nap a day, keeps sleep deprivation away!


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

A similar study done previously was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, which showed that a 30-minute nap had the ability to boost their mood while making them feel fresh and rejuvenated. This study included 11 participants, each of whom was given two, 30-minute naps on days after they experienced only two hours of sleep during the previous night. In another session, these same participants were sleep deprived, but weren’t allowed to nap.

When they were allowed to nap for 30 minutes during the day, they didn’t develop sleep deprivation.

In a press release, one of the authors of the study, Brice Faraut of the Université of Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité, said,

“Our data suggests a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep.”

If you’re having a stressful day, taking a nap helps you handle tough situations and tackle difficult challenges more effectively, reveals another study published in the International Behavioral Medicine. For this study, researchers tested the blood pressure levels of 85 healthy college students through the day at the Allegheny College of Pennsylvania. The results revealed that participants who napped for a period of 45-60 minutes following a stress-inducing task, had significantly lower blood pressure levels than those who stayed awake.

Power napping boosts creativity

woman sleeping_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Research suggests that those who take naps have more active right brain activity than the left. The right side of the brain is associated with creativity. For the study, participants’ heads were connected to optical fibers placed symmetrically around their scalp. These fibers then sent infrared light through their brain, which helped measure how much light was returned.

Scientists found that when the participants were allowed to nap, the blood flow to the right part of the brain picked up, showing that the creative side of the brain was enhanced. So if you’re a creative person, napping should be high on your list of things to do!

Suggested read: Research proves that mere communication cannot sustain real, meaningful relationships

Napping boosts your memory

A study done by scientists at the Saarland University in Germany found that people who napped regularly had memories five times better than those who didn’t.

For the study, the researchers asked 41 volunteers to perform a series of memory tests, which were used to analyze their overall memory patterns. The results showed that those who napped on a daily basis had more accurate memories than those who didn’t. another interesting revelation of the study was that those took to napping more regularly, performed better at the memory tests as time passed.

See? If you want to know how to be happy, creative, focused, and have an amazing memory, you need to start taking naps regularly!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
How To Be Happy, Creative, And Focused? Start Taking Naps, Says Science!
If you want to know how to be happy, focused, and more creative in your life, start taking naps, suggests Science! Learn more about this right here!
Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg