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Napping or Meditating - what makes you fresher?

06.03.2018

It is quite normal to feel a lack of energy in the mid-afternoon. Most often this is because of our biological clock - usually we feel drowsy around eight hours after waking up. This means that if you wake up at 7:00, at 15:00 you should feel an energy drop. For many, this makes the afternoon the best time for a nap. Others, however, rely on meditation to give them the energy boost they need to overcome that drop.

In our fast and busy world, it is becoming more and more obvious that switching off is not only useful, but also essential. Not only can it help mental health, physical health and mood, but it can actually improve productivity and quality of work. Whether it's a nap or a meditation, never feel guilty about taking a break to get refreshed and revitalized. This is not a waste of time and it can actually improve performance and help you achieve more during the day.

Meditation can have a similar beneficial health sensation like afternoon napping. Both methods have a huge and well-documented positive impact on productivity, stress and mood. But when it comes to a real cognitive function or a serious lack of sleep, only naps can solve the problem. So, the thing you need to focus on is the reason why you feel tired - biological rhythm or a real lack of quality sleep?

So, which one is better - the traditional afternoon nap or a meditation session? In this article, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of both options to help you make informed decisions.

Afternoon nap

Naps are a popular way to beat daytime sleepiness, but not all of them are the same. Some say that 20 minutes is enough time to refresh, while minimizing sleepiness, but longer sleep and REM sleep can also be useful for dreaming, reaching the unconscious, and organizing thoughts. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the afternoon nap:

Advantages

Some say the only real way to satisfy sleepiness is with a real sleep. If you have a great appetite for sleep, it is probably caused by serious deprivation, and meditation is unlikely to help. Besides, if you lie with your eyes closed, it can actually transform involuntary into a nap.

Napping increases performance and alertness, both after waking up and for several hours afterwards, making it useful for professional and personal performance.

Naps also have a proven positive effect on serotonin (the hormone of happiness) and cortisol (a stress hormone), which means they have a positive effect on mood.

There are numerous advantages of napping for the physical health of the body, such as immune system enhancement and lowering blood pressure.

Disadvantages

Sleepiness after a nap can be a huge impediment to boosting energy. It happens when the nap is longer, but it can happen even after a shorter period, the "ideal" 20 minutes of sleep. If you have something important that you need to be alert for, a nap beforehand may not be worth the risk.

Naps can also cause sleep problems at night, such as insomnia, as they break the sleep / wake cycle. They can also reduce the quality of night sleep by prolonging daily sleepiness and increasing the need for more naps.

Meditation

There are many different types of meditation, but they all come down to one basic principle - relaxing the mind and trying to focus on breathing. Meditation is a way to exercise the unconscious mind, to train concentration, and to reduce stress. Although this is not as good a break as a nap, meditation is another valid way to refresh and revive, and the habit of doing it has many benefits for both mood and productivity. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of meditation:

Advantages

Many people who have just started meditating say they need less sleep and have increased energy. This means that meditators are less inclined to feel fatigue by 3:00 pm.

Meditation can contribute to the overall stimulation of mood, which means that irritability or depression caused by lack of sleep is reduced. In fact, meditation is often prescribed to people who suffer from mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.

There are many different types of meditation. You can just sit and focus on your breath, or try a guided meditation, tailored to your own needs. You can find on concentration, confidence, lower anxiety levels and much more. Unlike napping, meditation can be focused at a particular thing.

Lack of sleep is also a common cause of afternoon fatigue. And one of the main reasons for a lack of good quality sleep is stress. While the naps can reduce stress and increase mood, night sleep can be adversely affected by the extra sleep during the day. Meditation, however, can reduce stress, increase melatonin levels, and thus help improve sleep quality at night, which means you will feel less tired both today and tomorrow.

Meditation is also beneficial to physical health, especially cardiovascular and immune systems. It can also reduce inflammation and pain.

Meditation has many of the benefits of stimulating the brain like the naps: increasing focus and attention, improving creative thinking, increasing memory, and promoting the ability to do multiple things at the same time.

Disadvantages

A single meditation session has no proven effect. The accumulated effect of everyday practice is the one that affects energy and mood. It usually takes at least four consecutive meditation sessions for twenty minutes to notice a difference.

Meditation certainly cannot be a substitute for sleep, and looking at it in this way can be quite dangerous. Sleep is an absolutely important factor in overall physical and mental health, and its importance is essential.

Sometimes meditation can increase anxiety, especially for beginners. Standing still and trying to clear the mind can lead to many things we do not want to deal with. However, over time, this anxiety will decrease as you try to cope with it, and after some time meditating the overall level of anxiety will improve.

Summary

The conscious and unconscious rest of the brain have clear benefits in terms of mental refreshment, work and mood. The main difference between napping and meditation is awareness. Rather, it is a personal preference, which one takes as more appropriate and has a more positive effect. Generally, both methods are great and healthy ways to rest, refresh the brain and increase energy.

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