Here's a fun, unofficial holiday to commemorate the first Monday after daylight savings time in the United States. National Napping Day, according to, is a holiday created to "compensate for the hour people lose because of the time change." While people go about their first work weekday more sleep deprived than ever, here's a nice realization: You can always take a nap!

In celebration of National Napping Day today, March 12, let's take a look at the actual benefits of taking naps to the brain and body.

1. Improves general performance and alertness

The National Sleep Foundation reported that according to a study by NASA conducted on "sleepy military pilots and astronauts," a 40-minute nap was revealed to improve performance by 34% and alertness by a surprising 100%.

2. Helps prevent you from overeating

Studies have shown that the more sleep deprived a person is, the more he or she will overeat. According to Men's Health, sleep deprivation causes the production of the hormone gherkin, which tells the body to consume more food. Sleep deprivation also lowers the levels of the hormone leptin, which alerts the body when it's full. By taking naps, you can reduce the risk of these hormones fluctuating, which cause you to eat more.

3. Lowers your risk of developing diabetes

Research from the University of Chicago revealed the link between the lack of sleep to the increased fatty acids in the blood, which can lead to increased blood sugar levels. Study participants who did get at least 8.5 hours of sleep compared to those who only got 4.5 hours of sleep had lower levels of fatty acids in their blood.

4. Improves overall sleep quality

A study published in Harvard Health Publishing revealed that those who took naps "increased the time spent in slow-wave and rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep," the phase of sleep which is integral to brain and body restoration. Taking naps will help improve your sleep at night.

5. Improves your impulse control and boosts sex drive.

Men's Health reports that men who lack sleep have been shown to exhibit effects on the frontal lobe of the brain, which handles "judgment, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior." This means that if a man is a sleep deprived, he may be more likely to believe that a woman is attractive and may be more inclined to engage in casual sexual activities. Conversely, men who get enough sleep have better testosterone levels, which affect sexual performance.

So the next time you want to take a nap, indulge yourself and reap the health benefits. To know more about maintaining good sleeping habits, visit or