Why You Should Add Power Nap To Your Schedule
How would you feel if I told you to sleep in the afternoon? Not a full, 7-9 hours of sleep, it would be nonsense, but a short, powerful power nap for 20-30 minutes each afternoon for much better productivity.
You might say I might be fooling you, since when does napping in the afternoon boosts your productivity?
So here are some results associated with the research done on power naps:
- Boosts productivity: NASA napping studies found that power naps contribute to an increase of 100% in alertness and productivity by 13%
- Reduces absent days; lack of sleep weakens the immune system. Taking power naps makes employees healthier, thus reducing fatigue-related illness.
- Daytime naps are associated with better decision-making.
What's a Power Nap?
A power nap, sometimes known as a “power nap,” is a brief and planned period of rest that allows the body and mind to recuperate quickly. Power naps are typically 10 to 20 minutes long, as prolonged naps might cause grogginess and disturb nighttime sleep. The idea behind a power nap is to receive the advantages of slumber without sliding into a deep sleep, which can lead to sleep inertia.
It’s vital to realize that the efficiency of a power nap is time-dependent. Too much napping can cause sleep inertia, a foggy sensation that might occur after waking up after a deep sleep. Setting your alarm or timer for the targeted nap duration can assist that the nap stays within the recommended range.
A short nap during the day might help battle symptoms of tiredness and exhaustion caused by various circumstances, such as sleep deprivation, excessive workloads, or prolonged mental or physical activity. Power naps provide a temporary respite from these problems, allowing the brain to relax and renew.
Benefits Of Power Naps:
You have read about the research made on the effectiveness of power naps. Let’s learn more about some of the advantages associated with it:
- Relieves Stress: Lack of sleep increases the level of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone, so naturally, your stress level is bound to increase. It also plays a role in harming your immune system and heart diseases. So, having an afternoon nap can reduce all this.
- Enhances Productivity: Napping restores your learning and working memory. You can solve more complex tasks and pay better attention.
- Stretches Creativity: Napping relaxes your brain, allowing your creative ideas to flow.
- Improves Your Mood: Increase the production of serotonin, promoting sentiments of pleasure and well-being, creating a positive feeling.
- Burnout Prevention: Including power naps in your daily routine will help prevent burnout by enabling your body and mind to recharge regularly.
- Heart Health: According to research, power naps may benefit heart health by lowering blood pressure. This reduction in cardiovascular system stress may result in enhanced overall heart function.
Famous Afternoon Nappers
Visionaries like Dali and Edison would employ the technique of holding an object, such as a spoon or a ball while falling asleep in a chair. The thing would fall, make a noise, and wake them up as they drifted asleep. They would be ready to begin their task after a few moments on the verge of unconsciousness.
Leonardo da Vinci, who functioned on two hours of sleep a day while painting the Mona Lisa, followed a polyphasic sleep schedule called the Uberman sleep cycle, which involves 20-minute naps every four hours.
John F Kennedy took a daily post-lunch nap with his wife, Jackie, with doors closed, phone calls barred, and no paperwork delivered.
If these great personalities did it, does it mean it was effective, or are these people just lazy??
Are You Sleep Deprived?
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is used in sleep medicine as a subjective measure of a patient’s sleepiness. The test lists eight situations for you to rate your tendency to become sleepy on a scale of 0, no possibility of dozing, to 3, a high chance of dozing. When you finish the test, add up the values of your responses. Your total score is on a scale of 0 to 24. The scale estimates whether you are experiencing excessive sleepiness that may require medical attention. How Sleepy Are You? How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations? You should rate your chances of dozing off, not just feeling tired. Even if you have not done some of these things recently, try determining how they would have affected you. For each situation, decide whether or not you would have:
- No chance of dozing =0
- Slight chance of dozing =1
- Moderate chance of dozing =2
- High chance of dozing =3
Write down the number corresponding to your choice in the right-hand column. Total your score below.
If you think your sleep schedule is perfect. No need to alter it, but if you need some improvement, continue reading this article.
How To Power Nap
Apart from taking a well-rested sleep at night, you could try to take a 20-30 mins break in the afternoon.
Where To Nap
Find any location where you can sleep disturb-free for at least 20 mins. It could be your car, your bed, your office gym, or even your meeting room. Any place would suit you if you are there disturbed free.
How To Nap
- Plan Your Nap: Select the place in advance where you are going to nap.
- Pick The Right Time: Test different periods between 1-3 pm and discover which time suits your body the best.
- Go Dark: Blocking out light is essential for quick sleep. Since it will be light everywhere, the best tip is to buy a sleep mask. It can be used in any position, making it very helpful.
- Block Out The Noise: You want sleep to be quick and effective. When you hear noises around you, it will stop you from slumbering. The best advice is to use an earplug to cancel all the external noise.
- Posture: The best posture would vary for each person. Some can sleep while sitting; some may not. You have to find your ideal posture for quick and sufficient sleep.
- Relax Your Body: Take deep breaths and let your muscles relax. Let go of all the tensions and focus your thoughts on something positive.
Wake Up On Time:
Always put an alarm to wake you up. Sometimes you might want to continue sleeping, but that’s not suitable. As soon as the alarm rings, go back to your work.
Prevent drinking too much coffee or eating much before taking a nap. Your coffee can interfere with your sleep, and you might not get the best result from the power nap, whereas heavy eating would make your stomach full, and your body would have to work to digest it.
While napping, you want your body to be as relaxed as possible and muscles tensions free. So, keep your meals light.
As we look for ways to improve our performance and maintain our health, the power nap is an accessible and beneficial tool. It serves as a link between our hectic schedules and the refreshment our bodies require. By embracing the power of sleep, we rewrite the story of our minds’ burnout, exhaustion, and overload. Instead, we open the door to the vigor, attention, and resilience required to thrive in our fast-paced existence.
The power nap is a vivid thread in the tapestry of our life, weaving together the components of energy, clarity, and balance. It serves as a reminder that real productivity does not entail constantly pushing forward but knowing when to halt, refuel, and emerge stronger. So, while we go about our days, don’t forget about the simple yet profound gift of the power nap—a reprieve that allows us to thrive.