Yawn...National Nap Day! - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

From Anchor Araksya Karapetyan

Yawn...National Nap Day!

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Today is National Napping Day! Yes, such a day exists… apparently. How appropriate that it happens to be on this Monday- let's be honest we're all feeling extra tired following Daylight Saving this weekend.

A Boston University professor William Anthony and his wife created National Napping Day in 1999.

"Our goal is to encourage folks to take a nap wherever they may be, at home, at the workplace or on vacation, and to make it a regular part of their healthy lifestyle. It is a day when nappers all over the country need to lie down and be counted," Anthony said in a statement.

No one can argue sleeping in general has a wide range of health benefits- from protection against heart disease and obesity to stronger bones and memory.

In case you need a reminder here are a few reasons you might want to squeeze in a siesta today (even if it's a quick 20 minute power nap) – boost your alertness, improve your memory, increase your creativity and of course productivity.

A new German study looked at the effects of a daily nap on a person's ability to perform certain tasks. Adults who took a nap scored higher in the areas of memory and reason. Researchers say slow wave activity in the brain during sleep acts to store information throughout the day and gives the brain new and fresh capacity for learning the remainder of the day.

If you don't have time for a nap today, you should at least try to get to bed early.

According to a study published in the journal "Sleep"- people who don't get enough rest tend to have smaller frontal lobes. That's right your brain may actually shrink!

Before you panic I should point out that researchers don't know at this point, if less sleep causes smaller frontal lobes, or vice versa.

But here is something we can't disagree with – sleep improves your mood and decision making in general.

I know when I am not well rested (unfortunately most of the time) it takes me twice as long to do things and worst of all I can't retain information.

In fact everything I do is in slow motion. I feel it happening and I can't snap out of it. The truth is - no amount of coffee makes it any better.

As I write this, I think back to my childhood, when I was forced to take naps. As a kid it was my least favorite part of the day- I would do anything to get out of a nap.

But these days, I wish someone would make me take a nap.

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