Monday is National Napping Day (apparently the internet just collectively agreed that this is a real thing), so you should probably drop whatever you're doing and go cuddle up for a nice nap.
Seriously, go nap. Because napping, in addition to being an awesome afternoon activity, also has a bunch of benefits when it comes to your health and well-being. Here are nine reasons why you should probably take a nap today — and every day.
1. Napping makes you better at sex.
Well, actually, sleep in general makes you better at sex. Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on your libido and can seriously put a damper on your sexy times. "Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of erectile dysfunction," Jon L. Pryor, a University of Minnesota urologic surgery professor, told Men's Fitness. A midday nap could give your sex drive a healthy boost.
2. Napping makes you a genius.
OK — maybe napping won't quite make you a "genius," but it may help with maintaining healthy brain function. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, "sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative." So, if you have a big project to finish at work or a major exam, squeezing in a nap might give your brain the extra rest it needs to be amazing.
3. Napping is good for your heart.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, "Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who don't sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease — regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits." The connection between sleeping and heart health isn't completely understood, but if your midday nap could keep your heart working better, why question it?
4. Napping can help you make up for your terrible night of sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults. But, let's face it, you're way more likely to stare at a computer screen until 2 a.m. than go to bed at a reasonable time. That's where the humble nap comes in to save the day! Napping can help make up for your crappy night of sleep. "We have a need for a normal amount of sleep," sleep specialist Dr. Rahul Mukherjee told the Telegraph in 2013. "If people don't sleep enough at night and have some restorative sleep during the day that's perfectly fine."
5. Napping can keep you from craving junk food.
Not getting the sleep that your body needs can actually make it crave fattier food in higher quantities, according to a study published in the journal Sleep. So if you hit that afternoon wall and start craving cookies and Cheetos, try taking a nap instead.
6. Napping can keep you from getting sick.
Sleep can actually boost your immune system and help your body fight off the viruses that make us all sick and snotty. According to the Mayo Clinic, "During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation." So a nap a day keeps the doctor away, perhaps.
7. Napping is the key to a happy relationship (if you do it together).
The couple who naps together stays together: A survey of 1,000 U.K. couples found that happier couples tended to sleep closer together, New York Magazine reported in 2014. So if you and your boo take snuggly naps together during the day, it probably means good things for your future.
8. Napping wakes you up.
A nap in the middle of the day can give you the energy you need to power through the rest of it. According to Harvard Health, a "20- to 30-minute nap may be the ideal pick-me-up," and a 2008 study showed that napping was even more effective than both coffee and more nighttime sleep at helping people power through their afternoon sluggishness.
9. Napping makes you happy.
It's no surprise that sleeping improves your mood, and not sleeping makes you a cranky baby — but sleep deprivation can have some extremely dangerous effects on your emotional well-being. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, "Sleep deficiency ... has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior." So take care of yourself, people, and go take a nap!