Health And Wellness

People Who Take Naps Are Happier, According To Research

Photo: nikkimeel / Shutterstock
woman taking a nap

Cat nap lovers, you’re going to be thrilled with this news. It turns out that the quick and frequent naps you take aren’t making you lazier. Instead, napping makes you happy.

It’s already common knowledge that the time we spend sleeping is the time the body works the hardest to repair. Getting good rest helps reduce heart disease and increase daily productivity. Naps, which are usually avoided for their bad stigma, are proving to have benefits of their own.

While most people will hit the coffee pot instead of taking a quick snooze, people who get in a quickie are reaping the benefits. I feel like this is already common knowledge. How else am I going to be able to take care of myself if I can't sneak a few hours of a happy snooze?

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People who take naps are happier, according to science.

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

Pretty interesting! If I look back on my napping days (before I discovered my love for coffee) I can attest to feeling terrible after waking up from a long nap. You know that feeling after a two-hour snooze when you wake up feeling sick, hungry, and kind of like a zombie? Who knew that long naps were actually bad for health?

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This study was conducted in preparation for the Edinburgh International Science Festival and involved 1,000 participants who answered an online survey about their napping habits. Based on their responses, the participants were then given a happiness score.

The findings showed that people who took short daytime naps scored 3.67 on average out of 5 points on the happiness scale. Those who didn’t nap scored 3.52 and people who took long naps scored 3.44.

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And when looking at what they actually felt about their happiness, 66 percent of people who took short naps said that they were happy while only 56 percent of long nappers said that they were happy.

All in all, these reports highlighted a significant link between well-being and taking shorter naps.

So, if you’re looking for a way to boost your mood, and improve your productivity, then jump into bed and hit the sack... but not for too long.

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Shannon Ullman is a writer who focuses on travel and adventure, women's health, pop culture, and relationships. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, MSN, and Matador Network.