Ever think a nap was not for you? You should reconsider and I’ll show you why.
Have you ever felt tired during the day and noticed your work performance depreciating as your eyelids become heavier? Maybe perhaps you and your coworkers are taking turns yawning waiting for the coffee to finish brewing after lunch.
If this is happening to you, maybe what you need is a nap. Healthy, powerful and it helps to combat afternoon drowsiness.
What is a Power Nap and How is it Beneficial
Naps are not just for children. Here in the US, about one-third of adults get in a nap each day. Many people find that naps are a way to refresh and recharge mid-day.
An afternoon nap is also known as a power nap, it helps give you that power boost your day needs.
It’s much healthier than reaching for that energy drink or caffeine, and it has plenty of benefits too.
Afternoon naps boost the immune system and reduce stress levels.
Studies have shown that napping one or two times a week reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.
When you’re working it will increase productivity and alertness, will improve your mood and energy levels, These are all benefits of napping.
Some businesses have learned of these benefits and now provide employees with a place to take naps during the workday.
How Long Should you Sleep
When you sleep you go through what is known as sleep stages in which together are known as sleep cycles. These stages of light sleep, deep sleep are when the body is believed to heal itself, and in REM sleep the mind is repaired.
Many experts recommend napping between 15-30 minutes. Any more than that can lead you into deep sleep stages. You want to avoid this because it can make falling asleep at night more difficult.
Research has shown that a thirty-minute nap has less restorative effect than an hour-long nap. If you sleep a whole cycle you will wake up feeling less groggy and there is much more improvement in cognitive function.
There are pros and cons to the amount of sleep you get so you may just let your schedule decide. If you have an hour use it, if you only have 15 minutes that is great as well. Even if it means a little less sleep at night.
If you only have 5 minutes, close your eyes and rest. It will give you the benefit of reducing stress, and more energy.
When to Sleep
It is recommended that naps be taken in the earlier part of the day. The best time is between noon and 3:00 pm, some even suggest as late as 4:00 pm. You should not do so any later as it will make falling asleep at night difficult.
How To Power Nap
If you want to get the most out of your nap using the following tips will help.
Use Sleeping Gear
Headphones or earplugs work great to keep the noise level out. A fan or white noise machine works well for drowning out noisy distractions.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
dark curtains or a sleeping mask work great for keeping the light out.
A pillow, blanket, or neck pillow will make you more comfortable if you are napping at a desk in your office.
Want to get the most out of your afternoon nap? The following tips may help.
A Good Sleeping Environment
Find a dark quiet place in your living room, office, or even your car. If your company provides a napping area take advantage of that.
Keep Distractions Away from your Napping Space
Set your phone aside to prevent scrolling and start napping. the blue light from the phone screen can prevent you from sleeping or make it more difficult.
Put a sign on your door to discourage unwanted knocking.
Can’t Fall Asleep
Don’t open your eyes just lie there allow your body to rest and relax so you can refocus and recharge. Over time your body should adjust to this new resting time making your napping time easier.
Refrain from Hitting Snooze
When the alarm goes off you may be tempted to hit snooze because you are still feeling sleepy. Get up do some jumping jacks or take a brisk walk. You want your body to know that nap time is over and it’s time to get back to work.
The Caffeine Nap
What is a caffeine nap? If you have a problem waking up from napping feeling groggy and out of sorts then this could be for you.
Before going to sleep drink a cup of coffee or something caffeinated and lay down after you are finished. When you wake up you will feel energized and awake.
Research shows that caffeine and napping can eliminate feeling sleepy in the afternoon. Even if you can’t fall asleep you will be able to feel its effects.
What Does all of this Mean
The negative opinions against napping are starting to change and for good reason. During the day when we need a quick energy boost, taking time out to sleep changes everything. It gives us some serious cognitive and health advantages and helps us stay caught up on our sleep debt as well.
The latest science tells us that unlike 85% of mammals, humans sleep only once a day. Scientists do not know if this is natural or if modern society has made us this way. One thing is for sure, we don’t sleep enough and we acquire large amounts of sleep debt every year.
Power naps aid in helping us catch up on our sleep debt while boosting our energy level, cognitive skills, creative problem solving, memory, object, and perceptual learning as well as statistical learning.
Naps improve sleepiness and feelings of fatigue and our mood. Power napping lowers our stress levels and is good for the heart, blood pressure, and even helps in weight management.
Remember to try caffeine napping and see if it helps in making your day a little brighter. And think about investing in sleeping gear, you will thank yourself.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them in the box below and I will get back to you. Don’t forget to sign up for emails so you can be alerted of new posts or changes on this site. I wish you all sweet dreams and happier more fulfilling lives and plenty of sleep.