Power naps linked to increased happiness, finds new research

If you’re the type of person who regularly wakes from a short nap feeling like you could take on the world, then the latest news from the world of science may not surprise you.

According to researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, people who take naps are generally more contented than their counterparts who fight the urge to grab 40 winks.

Over 1,000 participants rated both their happiness and whether they napped during the day. They were classified into three groups: ‘No nappers’, ‘Short Nappers’ (naps under 30 minutes), and ‘Long Nappers’ (naps over 30 minutes).

The results showed a relationship between napping and happiness, with 66 percent of Short Nappers being happy, compared to just 56 percent of Long Nappers and 60 percent of No Nappers.

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

Consistent with previous work showing that younger generations are not getting enough sleep during the night-time, the research also revealed that 43 percent of those aged 18 to 30 are taking long naps during the day, compared to just 30 percent of those over 50.

Finally, respondents were also asked about napping in the workplace. Only 11 percent were allowed to take a nap at work and 57 percent indicated that they wished employers would encourage staff to take forty winks.

“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.” added Wiseman.

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