Having an afternoon nap can feel a bit naughty, especially if you have lots of things to do. Plus, there’s the worry that a nap might mean we can’t sleep properly later – which is true if you sleep past 3pm in the afternoon. However, if you have a quick nap just after noon you’ll reap many benefits including these seven below:

1: It Reduces Blood Pressure

A simple, short nap in the afternoon can help to both reduce our blood pressure and help prevent heart attacks. Greek researchers found that people, in a study of 400 middle-aged men and woman, who take a nap from midday or later would have a lower blood pressure than those people who never took a nap.

7 Surprising Benefits of Taking a Nap2: It Increases Productivity

You might think that a nap is a waste of an afternoon, but according to research from the University College London, a nap can actually make you far more productive. In fact, the researchers believe that employers should actually allow their staff take 30 to 90 minute naps during work. If they did, they could expect their employees to have boosted creativity. Of course, your boss probably isn’t going to agree. However, many students reap the benefits from an afternoon nap when studying. If you’re struggling with an essay or report, instead of procrastinating, take a nap and come back to it – you’ll feel far more productive.

3: It Improves Your Mood

Have you ever noticed how grumpy a toddler is when they miss their afternoon nap? Who says we’re any different as adults! We all experience that creeping bad mood as the afternoon drags on and we have a lot of things to do.

Research in America found that toddlers who missed just one nap would become less interested in their surroundings and even became more anxious.

4: It Keeps You Focussed

Many of our world’s greatest minds, such as Sir Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein, were great believers in taking a power nap in order to stay better focussed during the day.

During World War II, Churchill would only sleep for four hours at night and would then take short power naps during the day to keep his mind focussed. Whereas Einstein would sleep an astonishing ten hours a night and still take daytime naps.

5: It Keeps You Alert

Did you know naps are NASA approved? A study performed by NASA found that both astronauts and military pilots would have their alertness improved by 34 to 100% if they took a 40-minute nap. The National Sleep Foundation also agree, suggesting that a nap can reduce mistakes, accidents and enhance performance.

6: It Reduces Stress

The Spanish believe in the virtues of a good nap so much that they advise people to have an afternoon siesta. Their research has shown that taking just a short sleep after you lunch can significantly lower people’s stress levels. These naps need to be incredibly short though, with some suggesting no more than 30 minutes’ sleep while others recommending no more than 15 minutes.

7: It Leaves You Refreshed

A post-lunch nap of 60-90 minutes can make you feel as refreshed as having 8 hours sleep in bed!

If you do find you’re excessively tired during the day, the likelihood is that you’re not getting the best sleep during the night. True, you might get 8 hours sleep, but if you wake up tired then you’re not getting enough quality sleep and may need to update your mattress