What do You Know About Power Naps?
Have you ever been punished for taking a nap in class? We can all relate to this. The society stigmatizes power naps and defines them as a sign of being lazy and having low standards. We should however not judge a person who naps during the day without understanding why they do it.
Though many people do not encourage power naps, studies reveal that a few minutes of napping during the day can boost your mood, alertness, creativity and make you more productive at you work. For these reasons, some organizations have implemented nap pods for their employees to spend some few minutes napping in the afternoon before resuming work.
Napping is not only meant for children or people who are sick. The secret to healthy power naps lies in understanding your body so that you can benefit from it. Today, we are not here to condemn people who enjoy such naps but tell you everything you need to know regarding the habit for you to decide if it is something you should consider. Enjoy!
The science behind power naps
Before judging anyone, it is good to have the facts from scientific studies so that you can view the habit from a wide perspective. While most mammals sleep during the day, humans have a pattern which includes duration’s at least 30 minutes every day and see the change it has on your focus of wakefulness and sleep.
- Taking a brief nap can improve your overall health. Healthy power naps should last at least half an hour for you to rip the benefits of the practice. While some people find it easy to take naps during the day, others don’t get any sleep even if they try to force it.
- Sleep stimulates the brain to go through a cycle which has five phases. A short nap that lasts for at least 20 minutes during daytime yields the second phase in the sleep cycle. Getting to this phase improves your focus, sharpens your mind and elevates your mood.
- Napping for about 45 minutes helps you get into the rapid eye movement phase of sleep. This phase can boost sensory processing and creativity. You should not exceed sleeping beyond this period since your body can drift into a slow wave sleep causing sleep inertia. This condition is what causes disorientation and grogginess when you wake up.
- When a person is not having enough sleep during the night, they may find themselves napping for more than 90 minutes. Such habits are not healthy since they interfere with your sleep pattern and cause continuous sleep deprivation when your body should be resting at night. Napping for more than an hour makes your body enter into all the stages of sleep including deep slow wave and REM.
Types of naps
We can classify naps into three categories namely:
- Preparatory napping
- Emergency napping
- Habitual napping
The first category involves taking some time to nap before you start getting sleepy. It is preparing yourself to sleep for a while even if you are not necessarily feeling sleepy. You can use this tactic when you need to wake up earlier than your regular schedule.
Emergency napping is the uncontrollable type where your body gets too tired to proceed with work. This happens to people who did not get enough resting hours during the night. You may get extremely fatigued while working and find yourself feeling drowsy.
Habitual napping occurs when you plan to take a nap every day at a particular time. Though the habit is prevalent in children, it can help adults improve their concentration especially if they do it before their afternoon working session.
How can power naps benefit you?
To benefit from naps, you must make them brief and do them correctly. Naps can improve the performance of workers and prevent them from making a lot of mistakes. Those few minutes give your mind a break to recuperate and get ready for the next part of the day. They also allow your body to relax for a while.
Taking coffee before a power-nap helps you get energized and boost your alertness. The effects of the stimulant start occurring after you wake up and it also prevents you from overdoing it.
Napping for hours is what is unhealthy as it interferes with your sleep pattern and may cause disorientation. It may also cause sleep inertia. Patients with heart diseases should not sleep for hours during the day since they are at risk of developing heart failure
What is the correct way of napping?
Do not exceed more than 30 minutes
Nap for only half an hour so that the body only gets to the second phase of sleep. If you are worried about going past this duration, set an alarm clock or ask a friend at work to wake you up. This type of sleep is healthy for your body, and it does interfere with your bedtime routine.
You should also practice habitual napping where you do it at the same time every day. This allows your body to recognize when it is time to nap so that you don’t struggle to fall asleep.
Consider your sleep environment
The environment you choose to nap can either prevent or encourage you to sleep for some time. Ensure that you have a relaxed place for you to be able to fall asleep. For instance, you can get a comfortable mattress from Costco mattress to improve the quality of your power naps. Some people also love taking naps on hammocks due to their relaxing effect. If you are not comfortable napping on a couch, a hammock can help.
Some companies also have nap rooms designed to make the environment conducive to rest. Make use of sleep masks to block light during the day which may interfere with your nap. You can also use earplugs to prevent noise from affecting you. Maintain temperatures between 60-65 degrees in your sleep space.
If you are struggling to nap, you should try meditation. Close your eye and focus on your breathing as you release any tension in your muscles. Within no time, you may find yourself falling asleep on the mat.
Contrary to our beliefs, napping is not entirely unhealthy. How you do it is what matters. Start napping at least 30 minutes a day.
Do you nap through the nap and what is your opinion on napping? Do you have a tips or suggestions that would be helpful to others?
Please leave them in the comment and please share this article to help others learn healthy habits and how to live a healthy lifestyle!