Naps and stage 1 sleep are OP
Allowing for time to relax is always good. Naps are a good excuse to simply relax and let your thoughts wander for a short time — without pressure to do anything specific except breathing.
They feel similar to the state of falling asleep at night — thoughts come and go in a similar way. However, naps have the benefit of being limited to under 30 minutes (in my case) so you never really fall asleep and instead just get to use that state in whatever way benefits you the most.
In my case, that benefit varies depending on my mood and energy. Sometimes actually falling asleep for a short while is what I need most in the afternoon. Other times when I’m more energic it is more like meditation — or just time to think about whatever is important to me right now, without distractions.
The fascinating thing, however, that is not often talked about — these “naps” are equally useful when I’m not sleepy at all. Actually, those are the times I find myself most in need of that relaxing moment because probably I’m too energetic and in need of some winding down. Additionally, lying in bed is often a good time for ideas to come because you allow space for them.
Fair warning: falling asleep for longer than 30 minutes (more or less — varies from person to person) will result in deep(er) sleep and make you more tired as well as making it harder to fall asleep in the evening. So avoid that if possible.