It is believed that sleeping in afternoon may give you more spirit, more productivity and sharp sense after waking up. It can bring peace of mind and you may wake up completely refreshed. However there are various opinions about the concept of having afternoon nap and the ways in which it can affect your health. Hence it is important to understand if sleeping in afternoon is good or bad for your health.

Sleeping in afternoon is known to affect your health in both ways. Let us understand how.

Is Sleeping in Afternoon Good or Bad for Your Health?

Sleeping in Afternoon

There are basically three different types of sleep when you are sleeping in the afternoon. These include

  • Emergency Sleep – This type of sleep is mainly taken when you are extremely tired or suffering from bad health condition. Here you do not have an option other than sleeping in afternoon.
  • Planned Sleep – This type of sleep in afternoon is taken with a plan to stay awake further.
  • Habitual Sleeping in Afternoon – This is the type of afternoon sleep, which you take on regular basis. If you regularly feel sleep in the afternoon post your lunch, then it is referred as habitual sleeping in afternoon.

How Sleeping in Afternoon is Bad for Your Health?

Despite many health benefits, sleeping in afternoon can have harmful effects on your health. Many people don't prefer to sleep in afternoon post their lunch for a variety of reasons. People working at office can't sleep, while some don't take a nap in afternoon as they believe that their sleep at night may get hampered.

Here are some common reasons why sleeping in afternoon is considered bad for your health.

  • If you have problem falling asleep at night or have insomnia, then taking a nap in the afternoon is not recommended as it can worsen your night sleep.
  • For people with depression, anxiety and stress related problems, sleeping in afternoon may be bad for health as it can worsen their symptoms at night
  • In some cases, sleeping in afternoon can also lead to sleep inertia, especially when you sleep for more than 45 minutes in the daytime. This is a condition when you feel disoriented and tired after waking up from sleep. It can adversely impact the quality of work if you start working immediately after waking up from sleep in the afternoon.
  • Some researchers have proved that sleeping in afternoon can be bad for your health as it can increase the risk of heart failure, especially in people suffering from heart disorders.
  • Sleeping in afternoon for more than 45 minutes, can increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes in future, which can be bad for your health.

How Sleeping in Afternoon is good for Your Health?

In spite of all these above-mentioned side effects, sleeping in afternoon can be helpful and good for your health in many ways.

Some of the benefits of small nap, which makes sleeping in afternoon good for your health includes:

  • Lowers Blood Pressure – Some studies have suggested that sleeping in afternoon for a short while can be linked with reduced coronary mortality and lowered cardiovascular stress. Sleeping in afternoon in reclined position is good for your health as it can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and reduces the risk of coronary morality.
  • Boosts Memory – According to some studies, people who take afternoon sleep for 20-30 minutes daily can have sharper brain and improved memory. You can experience improved vigilance and memory after taking afternoon sleep. People suffering from sleepiness can boost their memory by taking small nap in the afternoon. Sleeping in afternoon can be good for health as it can boost your memory and improve your performance.
  • Enhances Creativity – Sleep gives complete rest and it is strongly linked with mind and brain. Sleeping in afternoon for some time, can help your brain and mind to take complete rest, which enhances your cognitive and creative abilities.
  • Soothes Your Nerves – Taking peaceful sleep in the afternoon for 30-40 minutes can soothe your nerves and keep you calm. If you feel too much of fear, happiness or anger, it can affect the nerves and make you oversensitive. So, sleeping in afternoon can be good for your health as it can calm the nerves and give you rest.
  • Improves Alertness – Some studies have also proved that taking a sleep in the afternoon can enhance your performance by 34% and alertness by 100%. If you are planning to drive continuously for long hours, then sleeping in afternoon can prove to be helpful, to keep you refreshed and avoid drowsiness while driving.
  • Boosts Willpower – When you are tired, it becomes more difficult to manage things and your willpower reduces significantly due to your poor performance. When you are lacking in sleep, your brain has hard time in ignoring the distractions and managing the impulses. So, sleeping in the afternoon is good for your health as it can restore willpower, reduce stress and improve the mood and focus.

Sleeping in afternoon is good as well as bad for your health. However, the need to sleep in the afternoon must be understood and the cause must be known. If you are not well and need rest to recover from illnesses, sleeping in afternoon may help healing. Sleep requirement for every person is different and you should know your needs and decide about sleeping in afternoon, without overdoing it.

As sleeping in afternoon is good for your health in many ways, sleeping for a short while may be a good idea. Most of the factors when sleeping in afternoon can be bad for health is when you sleep for a long time. So, all in all, a small afternoon nap may be worth the benefits, without allowing it to affect your health.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: April 12, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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