We’ve all dreamt of taking a power nap from time to time but many of us feel worse when we wake up than we did before. That’s because there’s an art to taking an effective power nap and most of us have been doing it wrong.
How to Power Nap
A power nap should be no longer than ten to thirty minutes. Period. End of statement. If it’s a true power nap, the duration simply must be limited. If you sleep longer you’ll become groggy and will have a harder time getting back to work. Power naps are most ideal when taken between 1pm and 4pm. Anything later than 4pm may disrupt your ability to sleep at night.
Why Power Naps are Good for You
Human beings are the only mammals that generally sleep only once per day, but science is beginning to back up supporters of the nap. Here’s why:
- A nap averaging around 20 minutes will make you feel more alert for your afternoon.
- Short naps reduce mental fatigue and, in turn, help with short-term memory.
- People who take naps tend to be more creative when it comes to problem solving.
- Napping improves mood and relieves stress.
- According to the European Society of Cardiology, napping can help you to lower your blood pressure.
- Some studies show that people who nap have stronger immune systems.
- A nap is a better, healthier solution to stress and fatigue than reaching for caffeine or junk food.
- Improved moods mean you’ll be calmer and less likely to engage in arguments with friends or family.
- Naps help chronically sleep deprived people work off some of their sleep deficit. It isn’t a cure-all, but it can help to ward off some of the chronic diseases that come with lack of sleep.
There you have it! Take your next nap free of guilt. Just keep it short!