Power Nap to a Better Health

Power Nap to a Better Health

Photo Credit: Bryon Lippincott/Flickr

                                 

With work, school and other personal activities taking most of our waking time, it come as no surprise why many of us are not getting enough sleep, especially as we grow older.

Whether you’re a teenager or an adult struggling with having at least 8 hours of sleep on a daily basis, then perhaps it’s time to consider adding power nap to your daily routine to make up for the lost hours of sleep and help improve your health.

 

What is a Power Nap?

Power nap is a quick sleep session that lasts normally between 10-30 minutes before it turns into a slow-wave sleep (SWS) or a deep sleep.

Its short duration is designed to supplement a regular sleep. Anything longer than that results to the napper to go through sleep inertia–an unpleasant sensation that leaves a person feel groggy and even more sleepy.

Power naps can relieve us from sleep deficit and provide several health benefits that you would normally get from a full night’s sleep, including improved mental alertness, stamina and decrease stress.

 

Health Benefits

Napping at different durations presents different health benefits. According to Journal of Sleep Research, a short 6 min. nap is enough to significantly enhance declarative memory–a type of memory that is responsible for recalling facts and events.

Napping for 15 to 20 minutes provides a sudden boost of alertness and strengthens motor skills while preventing sleep inertia to sink, says Dr. Sara C. Mednick, author of Take a Nap! Change your Life.

Studies have shown that napping for more than 20 minutes will recharge your memory and improve creativity. A 30-60 minute nap can boost your decision-making process while 60-90 minute naps are crucial to creative problem solving.

While napping for 30 minutes or more is a great idea to give your productivity a major boost it deserves, Dr. Mednick says you are likely to experience sleep inertia as it will take some time for you to recover before the rush of wakefulness improves.

 

Which is Better–Nap or Coffee?

When it comes to promoting alertness, memory retention, motor skills and cognition, taking a power nap is better than a cup of coffee. Based from this study, caffeine might temporarily get you wired, but it can also impair memory performance so you’re likely to make more mistakes.

cat nap

Photo Credit: J. Triepke/Flickr

            

Practical Tips to Achieve an Awesome Nap

  • Keep a consistent schedule for naps and make sure to stick to it. Doing it regularly may lower your stress hormones and the risk of cardiovascular diseases over time.
  • There are no hard-and-fast rules as to the best time to  nap but Dr. Mednick recommends doing it between 1 PM to 3PM. This is usually the time when you probably had lunch and might feel that after-lunch drowsiness. Napping regularly will keep your body to adjust and pretty soon, you won’t need an alarm to wake you up. Napping earlier is still okay but you need to schedule it at least three hours before your usual sleep time so it won’t interrupt your normal schedule at night.
  • Set an alarm for nap time for 30 minutes or less. Napping longer than that will make you feel sluggish when you wake up and will have a hard time sleeping at night.
  • Unlike sleeping, power napping is something that doesn’t come naturally for some people. The key here is preparation. Make sure to get yourself in a relaxed mood.  Find a relaxing place to relax, turn off the lights or wear an eye mask, wear ear plugs so you won’t be distracted and practice meditation or other relaxation techniques to help your mind relax and ready for a quick snooze.

 

Now it’s your turn. Do you take a nap regularly? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


 


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Jazmine

Hi there and thank you for visiting this blog. I’m Jazmine, a free-spirited life traveler whose quintessential pursuits involve searching for the best spa experience in Cebu and beyond. This blog is where I share my reviews, tips, how-to tutorials, interesting articles related to spa, wellness and health.

16 Responses

  1. Isabeau Jane says:

    I like knowing about sleep hacks because I tend to sleep really late and end up groggy when Im off to work. My personal practice is to eat lunch fast, read a book for 30 mins den nap for 30mins and wakeup at 1:30pm for 2nd half of work ehhehe.

  2. Bjorn says:

    I like to do power nap at noon after lunch. It is my 4th thing to do in a day to keep me relaxed. The first thing is meditation, second is exercise and third is visualization.

    • Jazmine says:

      I am at awe at the way you keep yourself healthy and mentally balanced. It’s hard to insert that in our daily schedule especially when we are busy. Now that you mentioned it, I’m inspired to write about meditation and visualization in the next few months. So abangan!

  3. I probably nap too long! And yeah, that’s true, most of the time I feel more sleepy than ever. It’s amazing you put this up.

    • Jazmine says:

      Thanks, Thadz. I wrote this because there has been a lot of stigma attached to napping thinking that it will lower our productivity when in fact science has already proven that we need to nap to increase our energy and overall health. Hopefully, this article will encourage more people to nap more often.

  4. Richie B says:

    The best way to survive the rat race is to have that. Companies should have a mandatory power nap sessions as these help boost productivity.

  5. People should learn to listen to their bodies. If they feel sleepy, they should take a nap or sleep for 4 hours or more. It’s our body’s way of telling us that we need rest. Our laptops need to be shut down too so why don’t we?

  6. Wow! Your post is encouraging me to do siesta which is really one of my favorite things to do during weekends. I should show this post to people when they see me napping somewhere. 😉

    • Jazmine says:

      Yeah, you should. I don’t know why our society makes it a taboo to nap when clearly the health experts are already saying that it’s good for our health.

  7. I really agree on taking power naps! It helped me a lot when I was still in college until I prepared for the board exams. I was really impressed at how a short nap can recharge your mind 🙂

    • Jazmine says:

      Me, too. Sadly, most people are not aware that they need to take a power nap not just when they feel sleepy but to do it as part of their daily routine to help them recharge. Hope this article will motivate more people to take more catnap.

  8. rica says:

    I love power naps! 😉 this is what I always do in the office during break time, since I always wake up early because of my baby.. This one truly helps a lot compared to coffee: )

    Xx
    Rica | http://www.switbbydoll.com

  9. Ram says:

    Now I have a good reason to take a nap at my desk. hehe just kidding!
    On a serious note, I believe this is the solution I need for my sleep deprived days.
    Thanks for sharing! 😉

    cheers from: https://masterryo.wordpress.com

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