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Siesta - good for body and mind.
A lot has been written and said already about the “little siesta” and its benefits and/or downsides. People who are not in favour of siesta claim that the siesta will be at the detriment of the quality of your night’s sleep whereas those in favour say that it will improve your awareness, creativity and productivity… provided that you do it the right way.
To dose your siesta the right way it is important that you keep the 5 different sleeping phases in mind. If you take a nap of 20 mins you will reach phase 2 of your sleeping cycle, the phase that improves your awareness and alertness. A nap of 45 mins improves your creativity as you will reach the REM phase. But going further will bring you into a deep sleep and when you wake up you will be disoriented and dizzy. If you have to catch up on sleep, then take a nap for at least 11/2 -2 hours in order to get into the 5 phases and rest at full.
Conclusion: a “well done” siesta will not impair the quality of your night sleep. As it is completely human to take a nap – certainly for elderly people – there is no obvious reason to neglect it. On the contrary, a siesta will re-energize your body and boost your mental awareness. Just watch its duration and you will help to improve your overall well-being.