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Cat Naps: Do they Work?

We don't have to tell you how important sleep is when it comes to mental health. But when life's demands and extraneous deadlines get in the way, you're bound to become sleep deprived at one point or another.

So how do we fix it?

A recent study out of Michigan State University says those 30-60 minute naps you take during the day might not necessarily be the key. Associate Professor Kimberly Fenn says that short day-time naps didn't show any measurable effects in one's sleep deprivation. Rather, what helps an individual recover is the amount of time spent in slow-wave sleep.

Slow-wave sleep is characterized as the stage of the sleep cycle when your brain reaches it's most calm and restorative state. In SWS, your brain waves operate at their lowest frequency and your heart rate and respiration are at its slowest, relaxing the body and the muscles. However, to achieve slow-wave sleep requires more than just an hour of laying your head down. The effects of SWS are so dramatic, that 10 extra minutes in this state resulted in 4% decrease in errors in sleep-deprived test subjects when asked to perform various tasks.

So if you're struggling to get back on a good sleep cycle or fully recover from an all-nighter at work, keep in mind that you're more likely to benefit from a longer duration of sleep than a simple cat nap; no evidence supports any benefit of this idea. What this also means is when you're finally able to hit the hay for at least more than a few hours, you are likely to spend significantly more time in slow-wave sleep, as your body will be already naturally tired and able to reach that state quicker.

Here is the link to the article:

What are ways you deal with sleep deprivation? Let us know your personal tips and your own experiences!

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