How to power nap efficiently to get the most benefits from it?
If you’ve tried taking naps in the afternoon and found yourself feeling groggy after waking—if you manage to force yourself back out of bed—you may just be going about them all wrong. Even if you don’t work in a job where napping is acceptable, there’s an apparent reason why the best naps are the ones that are usually in the half-hour mark.
Daytime naps can be one way to treat sleep deprivation, says Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D., sleep expert and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life. “You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping,” she says. “You reset the system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance. That’s what most people need to stave off sleepiness and get an energy boost.”
The stigma against napping is finally starting to wane — for a good reason. Taking a timeout to sleep during the day does much more than give us a quick energy boost. It also confers some serious cognitive and health advantages as well. Here’s what the latest science tells us.
Unlike 85% of all mammalian species, humans sleep once a day. Scientists aren’t sure if we’re naturally monophasic (as opposed to polyphasic) or if modern society has made us so. Regardless, it’s clear that we’re not getting enough sleep. Nearly a third of us say we’re simply not getting enough of it.
Power naps can alleviate our so-called sleep deficits. Still, 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, reaction times, and symbol recognition. In addition, naps improve our mood and feelings of sleepiness and fatigue. Napping is also suitable for our heart, blood pressure, stress levels, and, surprisingly, even weight management.
A power nap is a sleep session during the day (ideally between 1:00 to 4:00 PM) lasting between 10 and 30 minutes. Any longer, you risk developing “sleep inertia,” “that unpleasant “nt groggy feeling that takes considerable time to shake off.
But how can we control that timing? How to master your power n in a high-efficiency way to get the most benefits from it?
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