Napping.com has released a Survival Guide to a Napidemic Report to help raise awareness on the benefits of napping.
The guide explains what a Napidemic is and what we can do to make sure you are not negatively affected by it.
It provides a look into how our sleep and napping schedules have changed forever and gives an insight into how to best optimize your nap time and day overall, specifically showcasing the Do’s and Dont’s in a Napidemic.
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In a report by the Pew Research Center, they found that a third of U.S. adults nap on any given day. Eleven years since that report, we have entered into a pandemic that has changed daily life across the world in terms of our daily activities and our work life.
As if we had enough to worry about, there are new terms such as ‘Coronasomnia’ and ‘Napidemic’ that are being coined to group and categorize a new set of sleep related issues people are experiencing during this pandemic.
Early studies from the UK report that improper napping can put you at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. For example, the study found that for every additional hour of sleep at night, they were 12 percent at lower odds of becoming infected with COVID. On the other hand, those who had napped an hour during the day did have a 6 percent higher chance of contracting COVID-19. This increased risk is a result of how sleep impacts how our body can recover from illnesses.
Medical research has demonstrated the close connection between sleep and the immune system where the lack of sleep could potentially make vaccines less effective.
Still in its infancy researchers are looking to help best navigate and understand these new terms to ensure healthy sleeping habits.
And its probable you might have just slept through it but we are in a ‘Napidemic’.
We have defined this ‘Napidemic’ as being a global rise in involuntary and unintentionally napping due to the effects of the pandemic and the work from home culture.
The shift to work from home was so sudden and unexpected that it propelled those not used to being home 100% of the time to create new habits, one of which being napping and sleeping. More people are sleeping during COVID-19 Pandemic but that is not necessarily equating to better sleep quality. And one culprit of that is improper napping.
Improper napping, especially in those who normally do not nap may cause further:
- Poorer Sleep Quality
and in some cases increased risk for:
- Heart Disease
The ‘Napidemic’ is here and it is important to be able to recognize and understand it so you can best prepare yourself to best protect yourself from the negative effects of it.
We are in a Napidemic
We’re living in a Napidemic and we just didn’t know it. I think it’s safe to say every one of us has been affected by the pandemic in ways that forced us to stay more at home and also forced us to read news that was in a perpetual state of ugh, ehh, oh no, ahh and meh.
And what probably really tipped over the population into a Napidemic was Netflix, specifically Tiger King. A film ripe for it’s time when people had nothing to do other than watch the intrigue of Joe Exotic and the story of Tiger King. Ok, maybe the stay at home orders and unemployment rates may also have much to contribute to these conditions, but the point of it all was they all were a tipping point into what we could call a Napidemic, a global collectiveness of more frequent naps throughout the day.
With a general sense of not knowing what to do with one’s time, trying to stay safe and stay out of harm’s way many fell back into a dream state to try and escape the pandemic or just forget about the gloominess of the news headlines.
The true danger of a Napidemic is not necessarily a collective shift in nap acceptance but rather those napping improperly. It may sound a bit silly to hear of someone napping improperly, but as we take a deeper look, you will see that you may want to give a little more thought into that catnap.
In a time where it seems we should be getting the best sleep quality since most people have been regulated to their homes for the better part of their day, sleep habits have shifted to a more bleak outlook in which insomnia and poor sleep quality is being reported.
The pandemic has affected many parts of our daily lives and came in such a quick wave in that we really didn’t have any time to prepare mentally and emotionally. The effects of that are continuing to show itself in what is being called Pandemic Fatigue, a condition when people feel more and more demotivated to protect themselves and others from the virus which may result in a demotivation in any daily activities. This leads to an increase of sleep by way of more frequent and longer naps or prolonged night sleeping.
This creates a global population that is napping more in an involuntary way, putting us in a ‘Napidemic’.
Impact of Our Napidemic
There will be many lingering effects from this ‘Napidemic’ such as:
- Where Naps fit into an Office Workplace
- Decreased Activity and Dangers of Sitting More Throughout the Day
- Poor Sleep Quality
In this report, we are going to focus on the Poor Sleep Quality effect of this ‘Napidemic’ and ways to Improve Your Sleep during this pandemic.
Naps used to be considered as lazy and unproductive if you took one, but more and more research has shown that is an incorrect way of perceiving naps.
Companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s, Zappos, Uber and Google had started to install nap pods in their headquarters to boost productivity and creativity.
Based on a New Zealand study, 40 minutes naps can enhance alertness and performance of those working the nightshift.
Research is also finding that a nap might be more effective than caffeine for beating that midday sleepiness.
However, there also are some negative effects of napping such as:
- Disrupting nighttime sleep
- Sleep Inertia – which is making one feel more groggy after a nap
- Increased risk for Diabetes, Heart Disease and Depression
Thus, the importance of napping properly and intentionally. As a society, we must accept that naps are becoming part of the new normal and we must learn to navigate properly for optimal napping and sleep quality.
Do And Dont’s in a Napidemic
As studies have shown, napping appears to be beneficial for many reasons and in today’s landscape, chances of taking a daily nap have further increased due to the work from home culture.
We must be conscious of our self-care choices and make sure we do them smartly to stay productive and more importantly balanced and happy.
Here are the Do’s and Dont’s of Napping in a Napidemic:
- Nap between 10-20 minutes for optimal benefits*
- Nap intentionally, make the choice consciously and don’t just doze off
- Be consistent with your nap schedule
- Use the right power nap gear:
- a proper blanket
- eye mask
- smart alarm clock
- Get some fresh air after a nap if possible
*Some studies have shown longer naps maintain a level of alertness and productivity; this is just the general consensus
- Nap longer than 30 minutes
- Under 5 minutes
- Nap too close to your bedtime
- Substitute night sleeping with napping
- Unintentionally fall asleep on a consistent basis
Please understand these are general guidelines for healthy adults. If sick, these don’t apply as you may need to sleep as much as possible to help fight off any illness. These dos’ and dont’s also do not apply to children as they are still developing and have their own sets of proper napping.
It is also important to note that it is true that long naps are linked to some diseases as we mentioned but it is also possible that it is because it might be a signal of poor night time sleeping. In general, napping regularly is found to reduce stress and decrease risk of heart disease.
We are in a new normal and are experiencing a ‘Napidemic’. It is great you took the time to read this report to better understand and equip yourself to stay in a good state of sleep quality. We hope you utilize the Do’s and Dont’s of this report to make better education decision when it comes to your day time nap and make sure you best prepare yourself for your intentional naps with the best environment for optimal nap benefits.
Napping properly is one of the best ways to stay productive and mental clarity and set a good habit of proper sleep quality during this ‘Napidemic’.