One of the favorites is a sofa bed—your couch and bed in one. A sofa bed is a good addition to any home because it provides yet another sleeping space without taking too much floor space. Sleeping on a sofa has raised a lot of eyebrows, but it actually satisfies a basic human need: rest. After a long day, it feels good to finally sit back on the couch. And during the day, it allows you to nap for 20 to 30 minutes, which according to the National Sleep Foundation, “can help improve mood, alertness, and performance.” Great men in history such as Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, and John F. Kennedy are known to value quick but restful afternoon naps.
Let’s look into the health benefits of sleeping on a sofa, and why a sofa bed is a modern home essential.
Effective stress reliever
Your desk computer needs a reboot, and so do you. Times have become increasingly stressful—from the horrible traffic to the demands at work and at home—and if you don’t give yourself a break, your health is going to suffer from the consequences of stress. This is why many doctors recommend getting at least an hour of rest outside the bedroom daily. One doesn’t need to nap, just sit back and rest to alleviate stress and improve one’s mood.
No more drowsy driving
Working at night and on graveyard shifts have become rather common in the modern economy. We all live in 24-hour cities. This makes sleeping on a sofa beneficial not just to your health, but in keeping you alive. In 2013, drowsy driving was responsible for the 72,000 crashes in the United States, which claimed the lives of at least 800 people.
So if you are feeling tired and sleepy, step back from the wheel and take a nap on your office couch before you hit the road. Naps effectively restore alertness and reinstate your reflexes.
One of the good things about sleeping on a couch during the day is its positive effects on cognitive functioning. The benefits of a nap are immediate but can improve cognitive performance for a longer period.
A 2016 study by a French think tank claimed that napping is a physiological need, noting that inadequate sleep has a direct link to lower productivity and absenteeism at work. The study also confirmed that “napping helps people to regain concentration and boosts productivity, and has even been found to reduce anxiety and depression by minimizing levels of cortisol in the blood.”
Good for the heart
A regular afternoon siesta has been proven to help lower risks of heart diseases. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens Medical School found that men and women who took afternoon naps of 30 minutes at least three times a week had a 37% less chance of dying from heart problems. Working men who took regular naps were also found to have 64% lower risk of death from heart attacks and other heart-related illnesses. Researchers owe it to the fact that enough amount of sleep reduces chronic stress, which is directly linked to heart diseases. The study suggested that a change in lifestyle to accommodate quick naps might be necessary.
Say goodbye to caffeine
Do you always turn to caffeine when you want to stay awake and alert all day? Too much caffeine can be risky to health, so why not switch to naps instead? A few minutes of sleeping on a sofa is better for overall cognitive and memory performance. A cup of joe, on the hand, can make you feel more awake but makes you more prone to making mistakes. In the battle between naps and coffee, always take the healthier road.
Enhances memory retention
If you stayed up all day and all night finishing a presentation, the best way to remember everything that you rehearsed is to take a quick nap. Napping after learning something is five times more effective in terms of memory retention, according to a team of German neuropsychologists. The researchers argued that the brain’s ability to go into sleep mode is linked to your ability to remember. So if you want to impress in the office, a sofa bed can help.
Keeps you fit and healthy
According to a Stanford University study, the less you sleep, the more likely you are to gain weight. Lack of sleep triggers the production of the hormone gherkin, which makes you want to eat more. It also lowers the levels of the hormone leptin, which on the other hand, tells your body that it is full. Squeezing in quick naps everyday will balance these hormones and make you not want to eat more than what your body needs.
Be better at relationships
Do you notice that you get into arguments more often when you lack sleep? Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley found that not having enough amount of shut-eye can make you less engaged with your partner. While naps are not designed to cover for all-nighters, these can help you read your partner’s emotions better. One of the advantages of sofa sleeping during the day is that it makes you less cranky.
There are a lot of health benefits of sleeping on a sofa and taking quick naps. Sofa beds, for one, are very comfortable and these practical home furniture pieces can help us achieve a healthier lifestyle and make us more productive during the day. Sleep is an all-encompassing element necessary for a better life, and regular afternoon siestas help us stay alerted.