What if I told you that there are certain ways naps prevent obesity, and even depression? Would you be more inclined to curl up on the couch for 30 minutes in the afternoon when you’re tired? Napping is actually a healthy practice that’s enjoyed daily in other parts of the world, but for many Americans, it can make us feel guilty in our driven, go, go, go lifestyle. We live in a culture that tells us rest can make us lazy, and that if we’re not doing something, we’re not being productive. Living through this high stress mentality on a daily basis can actually contribute to less productivity and obesity. So, if you’re tired and need a nap, take one! There are actually ways naps prevent obesity and depression, which make them a gift, not gluttony, if you ask me!
1. Less Cortisol
Cortisol is our stress hormone, and one of the best ways naps prevent obesity is that they reduce cortisol in the body. Excess cortisol contributes to inflammation, belly fat, an ill mood, and depression. It also taxes your adrenal glands, which makes you even more tired. When you’re tired, you’re naturally prone to more stress and cortisol output is higher. Give yourself 20-30 minutes to nap, and cortisol levels drop dramatically.
2. Eating Regulation
When you’re tired and just want to lie down, your body mistakes that you need more energy in the form of food. What it really needs is rest. Not napping when you’re tired can make you reach for more food to get a quick pick me up. A better option? A 20 minute catnap. If you’re at work, this might be hard, so getting more rest at night is the better option, but if you can, even taking a 20 minute nap on your lunch break somewhere quiet can do wonders for your mood and appetite the rest of the day. If you’re at home, stay out of the fridge when you’re exhausted, and just take a nap!
3. Less Sugar
Another way eating relates to being tired is your body will crave more carbs in the form of starches or sugar when you’re tired. Don’t let this happen to you just because you don’t want to rest. Take a nap in the quiet where you can rest. This can prevent you from eating sugar to get a rush of energy, which contributes to obesity and even depression when the sugar high wears off.
4. Chronic Illness
Did you know being constantly tired and overweight leads to chronic illnesses? Naps create a snowball of events to help prevent this. They might not be a medical cure for illness, but because of the ways they decrease stress and overeating, they allow your body to be calm, collected, and keep your blood sugar stable. Practicing this daily can help prevent disease and illness, which many people don’t even realize.
5. Better Focus
It’s easy to lose focus of our work and our healthy eating regimens, along with our exercise programs, when we’re tired. Taking a nap or a short rest can help you be more productive at work, in your lifestyle, and it will help you keep your focus on what really matters. I know I can testify that when I’m exhausted and need a nap, it’s not the best time for me to make any decisions. What about you?
6. Adrenal Exhaustion
I mentioned adrenal exhaustion above, but it’s worth its own point here. Your adrenals are what control your stress levels. When you don’t treat them well by exhausting them, they contribute to everything from depression and weight gain to inflammation and more. Resting, moderating stress, eating healthy, moderating caffeine, and watching your sodium are all the best ways to protect your adrenals. Napping is a great way to contribute to healthy adrenals and overall well being.
7. Positive Mood
Have you ever noticed that when you take a nap, you wake up feeling just a bit brighter about life? Even if things haven’t changed in your circumstances, it just seems a bit more possible to take on the world a little bit easier after a few minutes of shut eye. Taking naps can help you be more positive and less negative about everything. Try it and see for yourself. It’s one of the best ways to prevent depression, and can also contribute to a better outlook in your healthy eating plan.
Obesity and depression are two of the most common issues people across America deal with. Aside from eating healthy and exercising, rest is the number one thing you can do to prevent both. Getting adequate rest, both at night and into your day, is crucial to prevent both. Do you take naps?