The Benefits of Cat Naps
The meaning of a cat nap is a short nap, similar to a micro nap or power nap. Britons also sometimes call a quick nap ‘forty winks’.
Cat naps are never long, and there’s a reason for that: Several studies have shown that there are disadvantages to longer naps, which may leave you hungover since you will enter deep sleep, yet won’t complete a satisfying amount of sleep cycles.
Short naps on the other hand have multiple benefits. In a short power nap of 20 minutes or so, you will not enter deep sleep, yet you will still alleviate sleep pressure.
In this manner, sticking to a quick nap rather than dozing off for an hour or more is a good idea.
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering: Cats sleep around 15 hours a day on average, but spend only approximately 25% of this time in deep sleep.
Tips for a great cat nap
Benefits of cat naps
Short naps have been scientifically proven to increase cognitive ability as well as creativity. Regular napping also has remarkable benefits for your physical health, including decreased risk of heart disease and lower stress levels. You can read more about the scientifically verified benefits of napping here.
It is worth noting that many of the positive effects of napping only apply to short naps. Longer naps do not have the same benefits as short naps, and in fact, may be detrimental to health and performance.
For example, a 2021 study conducted among the Chinese senior population showed that subjects who slept for more than an hour throughout the day had an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Likewise, cognitive performance test scores drop after a longer nap due to sleep inertia.
To put it simply, cat naps are great, but the long siesta will do you no good, so have your alarm clock handy when going for a power nap.