A perfectly timed nap, set for the right amount of time, can do wonders for your brain. Taking a timeout to sleep during the day does much more than just give us a quick energy boost. It also confers some serious cognitive and health advantages as well.
Power naps can alleviate our so-called sleep deficits, but they can also boost our brains, including improvements to creative problem solving, verbal memory, perceptual learning, object learning, and statistical learning. They help us with math, logical reasoning, our reaction times, and symbol recognition. Naps improve our mood and feelings of sleepiness and fatigue. Not only that, napping is good for our heart, blood pressure, stress levels, and surprisingly, even weight management.
- A nap restores alertness. Take a short nap of 20–30 minutes “for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy
- A nap prevents burnout. Taking a nap is like a system reboot. It relieves stress and gives you a fresh start.
- A nap heightens sensory perception. napping can restore the sensitivity of sight, hearing, and taste. Napping also improves your creativity by relaxing your mind and allowing new associations to form in it.
- A nap reduces the risk of heart disease. Did you know those who take a midday siesta at least three times a week are 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease? Working men are 64 percent less likely! It’s true, according to a 2007 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine .
- A nap makes you more productive. a 30-minute nap boosts the performance of anyone, returning their productivity to beginning-of-the-day levels.
- Nap in the early afternoon. The best time for a nap is between 12pm and 3pm, at which point your melatonin levels are highest and your energy level tends to be lowest.
- Try and avoid naps after 4pm, especially if you struggle with insomnia. Sleeping too late in the day can make it harder to get to sleep at night, when you want to go to sleep.
- Keep it short. Grabbing 10-20 minutes of rest is usually best for a middle-of-the-day nap. More than that can leave you feeling drowsier than when you started, meaning you’ll have to go through the whole waking-up process for the second time in the day. Just take a quick dip in the sleep pool, don’t go for a long swim
- Alternatively, if you need a serious nap because you slept poorly the previous night, try and aim for a full REM cycle of 90 minutes. Sleeping for 60 minutes can make you feel groggy for the rest of the day, whereas 90 minutes–a full sleep cycle–can leave you feeling refreshed.
- Set an alarm. The idea of nodding off for too long can keep some people from actually falling asleep. Take the stress off and set an alarm, even if it’s only 15 minutes from now, to wake you back up and get you back to whatever you’ve got to do.
Steps To Take a Good Nap
- Find a good place to nap. find a place where no when will disturb you for the next power nap cycle.
- Try and make it dark. Try to darken your nap zone, or wear an eyeshade. Darkness stimulates melatonin, the sleep- inducing hormone.
- Eliminate noise and distractions. No lights, no radio, no TV, no distractions. Create total silence and get right into the nap.
- Stay Warm. Remember that body temperature drops when you fall asleep. Raise the room temperature or use a blanket.
- Lie down in a comfortable position.Try and lie down completely. Even if you’re at work or somewhere other than your bedroom, lay on a couch, or even create a soft surface on the floor that you’ll be able to recline on and grab a few Zs. It’ll be too quick for you to get uncomfortable.
- If you’re worried about getting in trouble at work, take your break in your car and put the seat back. If breaks are allowed, but napping at your desk is frowned upon, find somewhere private.
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Don’t worry about falling asleep deeply and whether or not you’re going to get enough rest before your alarm goes off. That’s the best way to have a terrible nap. Even if you don’t “fall” asleep, closing your eyes for 15 minutes and relaxing is an excellent way to rejuvenate yourself. Don’t worry. Relax.
- Don’t feel guilty.t’s proven that napping periodically throughout the day can make you a healthier and more productive worker. Napping boosts creativity, memory retention, and productivity.Sleeping in the middle of the day doesn’t make you lazy, it makes you proactive.