Napping : a natural need

The human body is naturally programmed to fall asleep at different times during its natural 24-hour cycle. In fact, there are two times that are more conducive than others to falling asleep, known as the "gateways to sleep".

The first gateway occurs logically in the evening when the body temperature drops and when the natural light decreases.
In fact, contrary to popular belief, body temperature varies throughout the day. It reaches about 37.5°C during the day, when physical and intellectual activity is at its highest, and drops again during the night to reach a low of about 36.5°C between 3 and 5 am. Then the temperature rises again in the morning, and the cycle repeats itself every day.
For its part, natural sunlight is the main external stimulator of our biological clock. When the sunlight decreases, melatonin begins to be secreted. This hormone, also called the sleep hormone, helps us fall asleep. It is synthesized by the epiphysis located in the brain and its peak secretion occurs between midnight and 4 am. The slightest source of light can prevent its production, so it is important not to be disturbed by any light source during sleep !

The second entry point to sleep is around 2:00 p.m., nine hours after the low temperature peak, and no one can escape it ! The fatigue that sets in at this time is related to digestion, because this activity requires a lot of energy from the body, but not only. You can avoid eating or drinking a strong coffee, but this will not change anything.

As mentioned above, the human body is programmed by clocks that tell it when to sleep and when to be awake. One of these clocks occurs in the early afternoon, often after a meal. Sleepiness is then stronger and opens the door to ... yes you guessed it, the (micro) nap !

The micro nap allows you to fight against daytime sleepiness and to recharge your batteries for the second part of the day. Fifteen to twenty minutes of relaxation is enough to recharge your batteries. Beyond this time, the body risks entering a longer sleep cycle from which it is difficult to wake up. Entering this long cycle will also erase the benefits of a micro nap.

It is not necessary to fall asleep during this interval. Isolating yourself by closing your eyes and concentrating on your body and breathing can already be beneficial.

Elsewhere in the world, napping is a fairly widespread practice. In Italy, for example, 50% of the population rests after lunch. In Spain, special relaxation centers have been opened for employees.

Finally, in Japan, the National Institute of Industrial Health conducted a study to demonstrate that napping improved employee productivity by comparing three groups: the first group that did not nap, the second that took a 15-minute nap, and the third that took a 45-minute nap.

The result ? Nothing better than resting for 15 minutes for the body and mind.

description of the various sleeping habits within different cultures around the world

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