The Health Benefits of Napping: How Rest Can Help Depression and Reduce Stress


Wouldn’t it be nice to curl up with some milk and cookies and take an afternoon nap every day? Most babies and young children still take naps, but as we grow up, an afternoon nap slowly disappears from our daily routine. School and work keep us busy all day long and the only time we dedicate to sleep is at night. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Research has proven that taking time to catch some zZz’s in the afternoon actually has more health benefits than you think.

Dani Singer, founder of Therapy Threads and licensed psychotherapist, added, “Sleep is my number one self-care rule. Most people need seven to nine hours of sleep for optimal functioning. If sleep is off, whether you don’t get enough due to restlessness, anxiety or nightmares, it’s going to impact all other areas of your life. My top recommendations for sleep are good hygiene, essential oils such as lavender (I love to place a drop on all four corners of my pillow) and rubbing cedarwood essential oil on the bottoms of your feet because it will enter the bloodstream within 20 seconds.”

Minimize Stress from Sleep Deprivation

A recent study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), researchers found that a quick nap could actually reverse the negative health effects that are a result of a night of poor sleep, reduce stress and even boost the immune system. In a day and age when most adults aren’t getting their eight hours of sleep each night, sleep deprivation can negatively affect hormone levels, leaving a person feeling sluggish and stressed. The data from the study suggested that a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep.

Reduce Fatigue from Mental Illnesses

Mental illness takes a toll on the body; physically, emotionally and psychologically. This can often leave a person who is diagnosed with a mental illness feeling drained. According to Healthy Place, one of the side effects of psychiatric medications used to treat conditions like depression and anxiety is exhaustion. Recovering from a mental illness, which takes a tremendous amount of mental and sometimes physical energy, can also make someone feel fatigued. When you’re feeling fatigued as a result of a mental illness, taking a nap is a form of self-care – a critical part of the road to recovery.

Essential Oils to Help You Fall Asleep

For some, falling asleep either for the night or for a quick nap can be challenging. The good news is that there are several essential oils that can help relax your mind and make it easier to fall asleep. It’s important to keep in mind that not every essential oil provides the same benefits to everyone. The trick is finding exactly which essential oil your body likes best. Since every person is different, an oil that might send one person straight to dreamland, might not do anything for someone else.


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