Searching for Happiness? Try Napping

Limit your snooze to 30 minutes or less
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2017 8:39 AM CDT
It's True: Power Naps Boost Happiness
Try napping your way to happiness.   (AleksandarNakic/Getty)

Can napping make you happier? New research out of Britain shows power napping can do exactly that. But limit those daytime siestas to a half-hour or less. After that, the positive effects cease. "Previous research has shown that naps of under 30 minutes make you more focused, productive, and creative, and these new findings suggest the tantalizing possibility that you can also become happier by just taking a short nap," says psychologist Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, per Medical Xpress. An online survey of more than 1,000 people scored their happiness level in relation to how much time they snoozed during the day. Participants were divided into three groups: those who don't nap, short nappers of 30 minutes or less, and long nappers of 30 minutes or more. Two-thirds of short nappers (66%) reported feeling happy, compared with 60% of non-nappers, and 56% of long nappers.

On the happiness scale, short nappers scored 3.67 (out of 5), versus 3.53 for non-nappers, and 3.44 for long nappers.There was a noticeable age difference, with younger people (ages 18 to 30) who tend to sleep less at night making up for it with longer daytime naps, compared with 30% of people over 50. "A large body of research shows that short naps [boost] performance," Wiseman says, adding that companies like Google have installed employee nap spaces. But be warned, the benefits of "nappiness" disappear the longer you linger on the couch. Wiseman says "longer napping is associated with several health risks," and frequent hour-long naps have been linked with an 82% rise in heart disease, notes the Huffington Post. (Napping in Japan is seen as virtuous.)

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