Do you feel tired and unmotivated in the afternoons? Wishing you could go home and sleep or go out and breathe fresh air to feel more energized? Trying to increase your alertness by drinking energy drinks or coffee? Oh, and isn’t that the time to get the candy bars out for a quick sugar rush?
You try very hard to avoid falling asleep when actually a short nap could be the solution to this afternoon energy dip.
When was the last time you napped? Taking a few minutes to enter the wonderful world of sleep? Maybe a nice siesta in the afternoon during your vacation?
Did you know that in Japan there are “nap salons” where people can take a short nap on daybeds before they return back to their workplaces? Sounds awesome, right?
Before we talk about “scientific” napping, let me ask you this: What do you think about people who nap? Do you approve? Or do you think that anybody who takes a nap time is just simply too lazy?
Why nap? When you lose concentration as your energy declines during the day, your body would like to get a few minutes to regenerate itself. Also, after having a heavy meal at lunch, your body needs all its energy for digestion so taking a few minutes to nap restores your energy so you can continue with your work.
The power nap is one of the most effective way to rejuvenate your brain power!
There are four main stages of your sleep cycle. The first two are relatively light sleep, while the third brings you into a deep slumber. The final stage known as rapid eye movement (REM) is where most of your dreams begin. The benefits of napping are tied to the length of time in which you are asleep.
During naps 10-20 minutes in length you only have time to enter the first two stages. Your brain begins memory consolidation, in which information you learn is processed. Waking out of these stages has shown benefits including; increased productivity, increased cognitive function, enhanced memory, boosted creativity and most importantly, feeling less tired.
Beyond 30 minutes you enter stage 3 which brings you into deeper sleep. You will experience sleep inertia when awakened in this stage. Because your body is coming out of a deep sleep, motor dexterity is decreased and you can feel grogginess up to 30 minutes.
If you experienced sleep inertia after a nap, you might falsely believe that naps are not good for you when in fact you just napped a bit too long.
If you manage to nap for 90 minutes, your body goes through a whole sleep cycle. It is perfect if you couldn’t get a full night’s sleep. A long nap can improve emotional memory and creativity.
Maybe it is not yet possible to take a power nap at your workplace although there are some forward thinking companies like Apple and Google where napping is allowed. Still you can take advantage of the benefits of a short nap during your vacation and the weekends.