This image shows a worker taking a nap on a park bench during a hot summer day in New York City, June 23, 2015. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

National Napping Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated annually on the day right after clocks are set to the daylight savings time. The holiday has one purpose: to give everyone a chance to catch up on the sleep they lost after the clocks are set an hour ahead.

National Napping Day can be traced back to 1999 when William Anthony, a professor at Boston University, and his wife Camille decided to create a day that would help highlight the importance and benefits of a nap. They agreed to have the holiday on the Monday after Daylight Savings Time since they thought the Americans needed a nap after having lost an hour due to DST. The decision was widely appreciated by the sleep-deprived Americans and was celebrated enthusiastically by them.

Here are 15 facts about naps to celebrate the National Napping Day 2019:

  1. Midafternoon naps are an integral part of several cultures, and they have been proven scientifically to be good for a person’s health.
  2. Napping can help regulate the heart rate and it may help in reducing the risk of heart-related deaths and diseases.
  3. Naps help in increasing a person’s awareness and alertness even if the nap is as brief as 20-minutes long.
  4. The increase in alertness can lead to increased performance and boosts of energy, in turn leading to more productivity and higher quality in work.
  5. When a person is stressed, taking a nap acts as a mini-vacation and helps the person relax and calm down.
  6. Not necessarily sleeping, even laying down for a short span of time helps in lowering the blood pressure, helping the person calm down and relax.
  7. A study found out that napping for at least three times a week for 30 minutes results in a 37 percent lower death rate due to heart issues.
  8. In ancient Rome, everyone was required to take a pre-scheduled nap after lunch.
  9. A power nap lasting as little as two to five minutes can be effective in getting rid of sleepiness.
  10. Every year, there is a napping contest held in Madrid called the National Siesta Championship and the winner takes home a cash prize.
  11. Dr. James B. Mass, a psychologist and sleep researcher, said napping is as important as exercise to good health and should be prioritized.
  12. According to sleep researchers at the University of California-Berkeley, the best time to take a nap is at the middle of one's wake cycle. Scheduling a nap eight hours after waking up and eight hours before sleeping is the ideal nap time and will help the person stay awake and alert for longer.
  13. While short naps don’t usually interfere with the nighttime sleep quality for a lot of people, sufferers of insomnia or poor sleep quality may face problems with sleeping if they nap in the daytime.
  14. Napping is a better idea than drinking coffee since coffee may decrease memory performance and the effect of coffee is also shorter than that of a nap.
  15. According to Tomorrow Magazine, there are three types of nappers:
  • Habitual nappers — Those who nap at the same time everyday
  • Planned nappers — People who plan a nap before they are tired
  • Emergency nappers — Those who wait till they are exhausted enough to stop their work and are forced to nap