One More (Scientifically-Backed) Reason to Take a Nap

We'll happily take another excuse to justify those Zzs.  

cat-napping
Photo by William Andrew/Getty Images

Fed up with your to-do list come mid-afternoon? Try a quick cat nap—it might keep your spirits high as you power through the day. According to a new University of Michigan study, brief naps could help to reduce frustration and impulsivity, and counteract negative emotional responses.

The 40 study participants, ages 18-50, slept consistently for the three nights leading up to the test, which involved completing tasks on computers and answering questions about sleepiness, mood, and impulsivity. They were then assigned to either take a 60 minute nap or watch a nature video. Afterwards, they completed the same tasks and questionnaire.

Those who napped spent more time trying to solve a task, and also reported feeling less impulsive. The non-nappers could tolerate frustration for significantly less time, suggesting that a nap could be beneficial in helping people persevere through tough tasks.

The results of the study, which were published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, add to a long (and well-loved) list of napping benefits, including boosting memory and sparking creativity. It could be particularly good news for people required to stay awake for long periods of time—and might make a great case for installing nap pods in the office.