You know the feeling. It happens in the beginning of the week, usually right in the middle of the day. You’ve just finished coming down from your last cup of coffee, and you’re just wishing you could crawl back into bed and stay there for the next 48 to 72 hours. This feeling is more than just an inconvenience. It lowers the quality of your performance at work, harms your relationships, and puts a strain on your health – both mental and physical. People across the globe fail to get the rest they need every night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, our bodies need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Unfortunately, most people, especially those working on a full-time work schedule, are only getting 5-6 hours of sleep every night. As a result, the majority of adults have something called “sleep debt” – the cumulative effect of failing to get proper amounts of sleep. Even after a full night’s sleep, heavy sleep debt can cause grogginess, irritability, and fatigue. So don’t fight the urge to nap. Taking just a short nap can make a huge difference in how you feel; in fact, research shows the optimal nap length is only 20 minutes. Here are 4 good reasons to nap more often. 1. Immune System Boost One of the bodily systems that suffers the most from sleep deprivation is your immune system. When you neglect your body’s need for rest, your immune system’s performance will decline, putting you at risk to fall ill. Napping can help boost your immune system and reduce your risk of illness. 2. Better Memory Working memory – the type of memory responsible for working on long, complex tasks - is improved by naps. Don’t let the stigma of napping prevent you from taking advantage of the benefits. Grabbing a 20-minute power nap in the middle of your workday can boost your productivity and concentration. 3. Reduces Stress When we don’t get enough sleep, it causes a hormone called cortisol to build up in our bodies. Cortisol is one of the stress hormones responsible for much of the anxiety and worry that we feel in our day-to-day lives. Catching up on your sleep with a brief nap can combat cortisol buildup and lower your levels of stress. 4. Saves Money Spending your hard-earned money on coffee and energy supplements every day will add up quickly. Instead of wasting money on a temporary solution, try scheduling a daily naptime to replace your caffeine habit.