Power Naps- For the Innovative Thinker

Do you know what was common between the great physicist’s like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison? Yes, you are guessing right; their contribution towards advancement of mankind but apart from their contribution they were all avid power nappers.

Basically, what is a power nap? It is regarded as a short nap during the day time for about 15- 25 minutes. One third of Americans do not get enough sleep, which leads to irritability and sloppiness. Even the proper rested Americans experience an energy dip between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

It has been stated in various studies that sleep is cumulative, which means that if you lose sleep one day, then you will not be able to work the next day. Moreover, missing adequate sleep for several days in a row leads to sleep deficit, which impairs reaction time, vision, short-term memory, performance, motivation and judgement.

Power of power naps:

power naps According to an American university study, most of the employees spend a significant part of their day time staring blankly at their computer screens or mobile phone screens. But, variegated researches have shown that a power nap can make your brain effective, helping in boosting the productivity at work, lowering down your stress levels. Power naps are also beneficial for an individual’s overall performance so that they can cope better in high pressure situations where they have to be alert and always “on”, like presentations, meetings, exams, long drives or commutes, and competitive sports. There are various benefits and time duration of power naps, which are discussed below:

  • After 8 hours of staying awake, our bodies naturally become tired in the afternoon. To deal with laziness, various researches have proved that 20 minutes of sleep in the afternoon provides more rest than 20 minutes of extra sleep in the morning.
  • Basically, a 10-20 minute sleep is the lightest stage of sleep, which is known as non-rapid eye movement. This duration of sleep provides a boost in energy levels, leaving you alert all day long.
  • Napping for approximately 30 minutes is good for decision-making skills.
  • A 60-minute nap is best for improving your mental and cognitive skills.
  • A full hour and 30 minutes nap allows you to complete a sleep cycle along with plenty of benefits like improvement in emotional sense and procedural memory such as playing the piano.

How to get the best power nap at work?

Laying down your head for a nap is the best thing in the world when someone needs it. To help you in getting the most of your power nap time, here are some tips that you can follow:

  • Do not put your job in trouble- Sleeping at work is regarded as laziness but napping is different. In many companies, sleeping on the job is a firing offense and if you are working in that environment, then taking a power nap may not be the right option. But if you’re allowed to do things within the bounds at your company, then, power naps are possible, if you nap during your coffee break or lunch break.
  • Get comfortable- Insomniacs should consider re-examining the environment they are sleeping in. They need an environment which is quiet, dark and free from interruptions. For a comfortable nap, they should consider eye shades and an iPod with lots of peaceful tunes.
  • Eat right- Eating the right food and consumption of less fat makes people active. People should avoid consuming caffeine, fat, carbohydrates or sugar before nap as these foods make it harder to get sleep. Always try to consume protein and calcium about an hour before taking a nap as it helps encourage the person to sleep.

Various researches have stated that regular napping may reduce stress and decrease the risk of heart disease. Moreover, to get the most out of a power nap, follow some of the below mentioned quick tips:

  • Be consistent- Try to follow a regular nap schedule, basically, the best napping time falls between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Make it quick- Set up the alarm of your cell phone for 30 minutes or less if you don’t want to wake up groggy.
  • Go dark- Prefer wearing an eye mask because blocking out light helps you fall asleep faster.
  • Stay warm- The most important and interesting tip, keep a blanket nearby, so that you can put over you because the body temperature drops while snoozing.

Best places to take a power nap:

People consider napping a very challenging task. But napping isn’t; it all depends on the situation. Most isolated the place is the greater the chance you’ll quickly fall asleep. Below is the list of places where napping is possible:

  • In your office- Office is the best place, if you have your own cabin, then, you’re way ahead of the game. You can simply put “do not interrupt or disturb” sign on your in-house chat, close your door, and get comfortable.
  • In the library- One of the quietest places to nap is the library. You just simply head over to the closest library or book store during your lunch break.
  • On a couch or reclining chair- In some offices, couches are available in certain spaces like restrooms, lunch room, break room, or even a pumping room for nursing mothers. You can head there for a refreshing nap.
  • In a parked car- Option of parked car is the best and comfortable spot to nap. You can take a power nap in your car during lunch time in your company parking lot.
  • On the bus or train- Commuting is the best time for taking power naps. Simply put on your headphones, tune your music player to some relaxing beats and you’re all set to relax in peace.

When you run out with options and you desperately need a few minutes of nap, you can just sit in a bathroom stall by crossing your forearms over your knees, and then putting your head down to rest. It may not sound appealing, but people do it and it works for them. A powerful nap may not be possible here, but even closing your eyes to unwind can be productive. There are various other ways to get an effective power nap. Avoid caffeine after 2 pm because it is a stimulant that has the power to disrupt your sleep by staying in your system for a longer time. Another tip is, if you do not have enough time for a power nap, or do not feel comfortable, you should try meditation. It is the best way to relax your body.

If you anyone who’s a workaholic or who suffers from sleep deprivation, do share this article with them. It will surely boost their creative and cognitive skills. Fact!

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Amelia Smith

Nutritionist, herbalist, health and medicine writer and yoga enthusiast, Amelia Smith, is a professional in the health, nutrition and diet industry.
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