The benefits of napping

12/05/2016
  • Magazine

A victim of our overcharged schedules and longstanding prejudices, the nap is an art seldom practiced by North American adults. In downtown Montreal, however, you can catch a power nap on a comfy couch, even while wearing your suit.

Ever get hit by a case of the midday slump? If so, you might be in need of a nap! However, according to Roger Godbout, professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal and researcher at the Laboratoire de recherche sur le sommeil de l’Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, for a nap to be beneficial you need to keep it under 30 minutes, tops. “If you nap for too long, you’ll wake up feeling groggy,” explains Godbout. “When you over-nap, you enter the realm of deep sleep and run the risk of affecting your quality of sleep the following night.”

And there are certain periods during the day when napping is extra beneficial. “Early afternoon, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. is the ideal time for napping. It’s approximately 12 hours following our non-REM sleep cycle,” says Godbout. While napping after 3 p.m. may help you feel re-en­ergized, it can potentially lead to diffi­culties falling asleep or staying asleep come nighttime.

What are the benefits of napping?

“The studies are contradictory,” explains Godbout. “However, the gen­eral consensus is that napping helps improve memory and has a positive impact on our concentration and alert­ness, and most of all, our mood. After a short nap, you should feel energized, relaxed and happy.”

The nap has even become a must in the business community. “Our Power Nap Station is actually one of our most popular spa treatments,” explains Nathalie Roy, Executive Director at Spa Eastman, the first downtown loca­tion to begin offering energizing nap sessions back in 2013. “A caffeine-free way of recharging the body and mind, our power nap service is ideal for anyone who needs to relax but doesn’t have time to treat themselves to a massage session. And no need to get dressed after!” A nap session lasts 30 or 40 minutes and takes place on a specially designed couch known as the Neurospa that combines inter-corporal music— acoustic vibrations—with relaxing music. “It’s extremely rare that a customer doesn’t fall asleep. We have a loyal clientele, primarily made up of businessmen and women. Some even come in to recharge their batteries three times a week!” 

 

Texte: Marielle Rougerie 

Photo: Spa Eastman

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