I’m a big fan of afternoon naps. In fact, I was super excited when joining Buffer to hear about how the team is pro-napping. It’s not everyday you come across a company that’s open to letting employees take a snooze whenever they want one.
Naps aren’t for everyone, though. I’ve heard lots of people say naps don’t make them feel better, so I wanted to explore how naps affect your brain and whether they really are good for you or not.
How sleep affects us
Better sleeping is known to provide lots of health benefits. These can include better heart function, hormonal maintenance and cell repair as well as boosting memory and improving cognitive function. Basically, sleeping gives your body a chance to deal with everything that happened during the day, repair itself and reset for tomorrow.
Sleep deprivation, therefore, actually harms us in several ways. One of the most obvious harms is that we have trouble focusing when we’re sleep deprived. Leo wrote about this on the Buffer blog before:
someone who is severely sleep deprived is in fact as attentive and awake as you are, with one big difference. Here is what a recent study found:
Whether we are sleep deprived or not, we lose focus at times. And that is precisely where the sleep deprived person lands in a trap. Once we start to lose focus and have received the right amount of sleep, our brain can compensate for that and increase attention. If we are sleep deprived, our brain can’t refocus