Basically, a power nap is a short nap, usually 10 to 25 minutes long, taken in the middle of a day to make you more productive.
Interestingly, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Leonardo Da Vinci, Winston Churchill, and Napoleon Bonaparte are some of the most famous personalities who used to take power naps to become revitalized.
Benefits of Power Napping
- • Improves the cognitive powers of the mind
- • Improves hand-eye coordination
- • Boosts your energy
- • Facilitates muscle and cell repair
- • Restores alertness and stamina
- • Improves your memory and learning capacity
- • Reduces stress
- • Prevents burnout
- • Eliminates the need for caffeine boosts during the day
- • Reduces the risk of heart disease
- • Improves your mood
- • Enhances creativity
- • Increases sensory perception
However, do not undermine the importance of proper sleep. After all, getting a good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining healthy energy levels, memory, and hormonal functioning.
Thus, try to get almost six to eight hours sleep in the night. Moreover, it is suggested to restrict caffeine consumption after 3pm.
Power naps can particularly benefit someone who is a normal sleeper but is getting insufficient sleep at night. People who are required to stay up all night can take a two to four hour nap during the day to avoid sleepiness.
Here’s a video giving tips and suggestions about power naps.
How To Take An Effective Power Nap During Midday
- • Pick a sweet spot at a quiet place where you can get uninterrupted rest for at least 10-15 minutes. Power naps allow you to complete the first two stages of the full sleep cycle. Simply put, it is like a meditation to encourage mental relaxation.
- • You can put on a sleeping eye mask to block out all the surrounding light and induce a state of darkness. Darkness stimulates sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin.
- • Take the midday naps daily at the same time to maintain consistency. Try not to doze off in the late afternoon, though, because it encourages deep sleep.
- • Eat protein and calcium rich foods before the nap and avoid having heavy meals high in carbohydrates, fats, or sugars.
- • To avoid the grogginess that comes after getting up from sleep, aim for short naps for a duration of 20 minutes or less than that. A perfect nap should be one that increases your focus and productivity. It should not make you lazy.
In fact, longer naps in which you enter the normal sleep cycle but fail to complete it can make you sleepier than before. So, if you are not sure whether you can wake up after 15-20 minutes or not, set an alarm on your phone.
- • Another advice in this regard is to drink a cup of coffee or green tea before taking a quick nap. Caffeine takes about 20 to 30 minutes to work after being consumed. Hence, it can give you a boost after you wake up.
- • You can raise the room temperature while taking a nap to be more comfortable; body temperature drops slightly on falling asleep. Another simple alternative is to use a blanket.
- • In case you cannot find a proper room for your power nap, consider nodding off in your car itself. Make sure it is parked in a safe place and lock the doors. You can turn on some relaxing music, too.
- • To increase your alertness after the nap, splash cold water on your face and run your wrists under the tap (the blood vessels in this area are close to your skin). If possible, you can also exercise a bit just to get your body moving.
In case you cannot get a 20-minute power nap, you can opt for a nano (10-20 seconds), micro (2-5 minutes), or mini nap (5-20 minutes) to rejuvenate yourself.
Hence, you need not be guilty and ashamed of taking power naps as they restore wakefulness and promote better performance.
There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.
– Edward Lucas