Leonardo da Vinci. Albert Einstein. Thomas Edison. Eleanor Roosevelt. Winston Churchill. Presidents Johnson, Reagan, and Kennedy. What do they all have in common besides being successful leaders? They appreciated a good nap.

Vector illustration of single isolated sleep icon

Here’s why:

#1 A nap restores alertness. A quick nap can bring you back from that mid-afternoon slump many of us experience. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a short nap of 20-30 minutes (not longer than that!) “for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with night time sleep.”

#2 A nap prevents burnout. In today’s world, everyone is constantly moving and rushing to their next job or destination. Taking a nap allows you to slow down and refresh your mind and body. Research shows that those who nap have greater emotional resilience and improved cognitive function — and we could all use some more of that.

#3 A nap increases sensory perception. Dr. Sara C. Mednick, author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life, states that napping can restore your sensitivity of sight, hearing, and taste. It also improves your creativity by allowing your mind to relax.

#4 A nap reduces the risk of heart disease. People who take a midday nap at least 3x a week are 37% less likely to die of heart disease. Working men are 64% less likely. Seriously.

#5 A nap increases production. Several research studies show that workers become increasingly unproductive as the day goes on. You’ve probably noticed that around 3:00pm you zone out a little more often, are tempted to check Instagram, or even have the urge to go catch some Pokemon instead of finishing up that spreadsheet… But a Harvard University study showed that a 30 minute nap boosted work performance, returning worker’s productivity to beginning-of-the-day levels.