Having a hard day and feeling like you could use something to boost your mood or morale? According to a new study, the solution to your problem could be as simple as it was when you were a kid; taking the time for a small nap during the day.

Researcher Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, found that power naps could be the antidote not just for the dreaded afternoon energy slump, but also when we’re down in the dumps Getting in a few winks is a tried and true method for boosting levels of alertness and concentration but  Wiseman believes it can boost your mood as well. In recent studies, the psychologist found that it takes fewer than 30 minutes of shut-eye to increase levels of happiness. In a survey of 1,000 subjects, Wiseman asked about nap habits and correlated the findings to reports of happiness. What he found was eye-opening. Two-thirds of people who reported napping regularly for under 30 minutes a day described themselves as happy. In contrast, 56% of participants who napped longer than 30 minutes and 60% of those who took no naps reported being happy. According to Wiseman, “Previous research has shown that naps of under 30 minutes make you more focused, productive and creative, and these new findings suggest the tantalizing possibility that you can also become happier by just taking a short nap. Similarly longer napping is associated with several health risks and again, this is in line with our results.” 

So, who is the most likely to indulge in a little shut-eye during the day? Nearly one-third of study participants over age 50 took short naps, while 43% of those between the ages of 18 to 30 took a nap longer than 30 minutes.

Will this data lead to work-sanctioned nap times? Wiseman found that roughly 10% of the subjects were allowed to nap at work, with the majority saying they would welcome the option of an afternoon siesta. Based on his findings, the researcher suggests that employers consider the option of an afternoon snooze as a means of increasing productivity, and perhaps even happiness.

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