Power Naps Benefits
If you possess the ability to power nap, then you are truly blessed! They’re a proven way of increasing productivity, providing a much needed boost of energy and re-setting your system. Quite frankly, we recommend that everyone learn how to perfect the power nap! Let’s face it, who doesn’t feel instantly better after they’ve disengaged and zoned out for 40 winks? If we had our way, power naps would be compulsory and scheduled into the working day, with employers providing desk side pillows and sleep masks to all members of staff. Yes, we can dream. So the question we’re asking today is how power naps will revolutionize your life. Because trust us, they will!
How Power Naps Will Revolutionise Your Life
Unlike 85% of all mammalian species, humans ordinarily only sleep once per day. So clearly we’re not getting anywhere near as much sleep as the rest of the animals on this planet and nearly a third of us complain that we suffer from disturbed sleep patterns. Sadly not everyone can power nap, so if you are one of the lucky ones, then congratulations. You also happen to be in esteemed company as apparently the likes of Winston Churchhill, JFK, Leonardo da Vinci and Einstein all enjoyed a bit of an afternoon brain shut down.
If you’re currently wondering how to increase productivity, more frequent naps might just be the answer. The benefits of short midday snooze have been studied and proven to be highly effective. Not only can they counter the effects of temporary sleep deprivation, but they are also thought to improve cognitive functioning, boost mental energy and, yes, increase your overall productivity. Power naps can help with math and logical reasoning, creative problem solving, as well as verbal memory and symbol recognition.
Sounds like an excuse to be a sleepyhead to us. You can quickly see how designated power naps could significantly improve productivity in specific industries. Little surprise then that the more forward-thinking and socially conscious employers are cottoning onto this fact. Many are designing new office spaces with napping in mind. It brings a whole new meaning to sleeping on the job!
Is Power Napping Suitable For Everyone?
Not all naps are created equal and unfortunately, power napping isn’t suitable for everyone. All you insomniacs out there should probably give them a wide birth. The last thing you want to be doing is disrupting your body clock even further. If you already have a dysfunctional sleeping routine, then day time napping could see you staring at your ceiling even more often than usual. Quite the contrary in fact. There’s actually evidence and research to support that for insomniacs, avoiding naps entirely could positively help you sleep more soundly at night. So put those travel pillows away and try and stay awake on your commute home from work.
When Should I Nap And For How Long?
For the rest of you, power naps really could revolutionize your life but only if you respect the duration. We’re not talking about going back to bed in the middle of the day, changing into your pajamas and snuggling up under the duvet with your teddy bear. Yes, we know you still have a favorite stuffed toy, so there’s no use denying it! The absolute key to successful power napping is the duration.
Too long and you’ll venture into deep sleep mode, which will have the opposite effect. Instead of leaving you feeling reenergized, making you feel groggy afterward. Too little and it’s not effective either.
Sleep experts tell us that the optimum time is somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes. During this time, your body is able to experience two important restorative cycles of sleep. Stage 1 that lovely and relaxing drifting off stage and 2, the slowing down of brain activity. Going beyond that is bad news for productivity. So try and stick to around 20 minutes if possible.
Timing Is Crucial
Meditteranean cultures have long enjoyed the benefits of an afternoon siesta. Generally taken between the hours of 1 pm and 3 pm, so it stands to reason that this could be the sweet spot to partake in a power nap. Many people find they experience a post-lunch lull and a loss of focus. Who hasn’t be subjected to a carbohydrate coma before now! It’s important not to nap post 4 pm; otherwise, you definitely run the risk of it interfering with your regular night’s sleep. Find out what works best for you. Both practically in terms of your daily working commitment, as well as physically, enabling you to optimize your performance while still sleeping soundly at night.
Selecting Your Napping Place
You need to select a space where you minimize the risk of being disturbed. If you can recline, even better, but failing that, find a comfortable chair that you can take a relaxing break in. If you are napping in public, then a pair of noise-canceling wireless headphones is an excellent next purchase. They’ll reduce intrusive background noise and send a firm “do not disturb” signal to your colleagues. Nothing says, “stay away” better than a pair of headphones and sleep mask!
At the same time, as you’re powering down yourself, power down your devices too. Put all your incoming calls on hold, hang up the do not disturb sign if you have one and make sure your laptop and mobile are switched off to avoid any distractions.
Napping Is Better Than Caffeine
Studies have discovered that a midday power nap is more effective than a cup of coffee when it comes to positively improving motor skills, verbal memory as well as perceptual learning. So next time you feel like you need a boost of energy, swerve the caffeine and instead think about getting a bit of shut-eye instead. As an added beneficial side effect, napping can also help manage stress and reduce blood pressure.
So there you have it, learn the art of the power nap and you could revolutionize your daily life. Now please excuse us as we’re going for a little mid-afternoon lie down. Be back in twenty minutes.