How long should the perfect nap last? – The debate

For many it is sacred, others never throw it out and there are those who find it impossible not to fall into its arms after eating. Although many studies have shown the importance of this rest and its benefits, the siesta always provokes debate between those who worship it and hate it, and its duration is a controversial point. The truth is that there is a fine line between what can be a restful sleep in the early afternoon or a deep nap from which one wakes up disoriented and in a bad mood. This practice does not understand age or social class and is more of a cultural convention that occurs due to our work, eating and sleeping schedules. Although it is less and less common in our day to day, the siesta is still present in our homes, but we must know what its advantages and disadvantages are, as well as the tips to sleep it in a healthy way. Advantages The benefits of taking a nap are multiple: stress reduction, increased productivity, decreased anxiety, lower blood pressure and memory enhancement, among others. For this reason, a little nap after eating can help us face the afternoon clear, with batteries charged and in a good mood. Disadvantages The negative effects of a nap are usually associated with excessively long sleep. This causes it to affect night rest and lead to a sleepless night. Also, when entering a deep sleep phase, the body secretes large amounts of cortisol, something that can make us wake up in a bad mood and even increase the chances of suffering a cardiovascular accident. Time The key to a nap feels good is its duration. The times vary according to the experts, but the recommendations move between 15 and 30 minutes. A NASA study established the perfect amount at 25.8 minutes, while the Sleep Foundation puts the limit at 30 minutes. And it is that if we exceed this time, we will enter a deeper sleep phase, which will lead to that heaviness and confusion when waking up, in addition to the inconveniences mentioned above. In the same way, it is recommended to avoid sleeping on the sofa, with the TV on and the blinds up. To guarantee the effectiveness of rest during that half hour, it is better to do it in bed, in silence and in the dark. Spaniards do not sleep that much. Despite the fact that Spaniards have been known as sleepyheads, the reality is not such. We rest less than most of our European neighbors, specifically seven hours and 13 minutes on average, according to data collected by the Sleep Cycle application. In addition, in a survey carried out by IPSOS for Philips in 2019 together with the Spanish Sleep Society, 58% of Spaniards claim to sleep poorly. Both pose a problem, since rest is essential for the proper functioning of our health.