It’s known that babies and toddlers need naps. But studies have proven that short naps are beneficial for everyone. Due to its great benefits, these short naps are called power naps, and many corporates have started incorporating nap times into their work schedule and installing nap pods in offices. This blog is a comprehensive guide on the benefits of power naps and other important information about power naps.
What is a power nap?
A power nap is when a person takes advantage of the natural sleep cycle and sleeps for short cycles lasting between 10 to 30 minutes. An ideal power nap should range between 20 to 30 minutes. It provides the benefits of sleep without grogginess when a person wakes up.
What are the benefits of power naps?
According to various studies, a healthy nap enables the recovery of brain function, memory consolidation, elimination of toxins that build up throughout the day, and a surge of energy.
Taking a quick nap during the day may be particularly beneficial if one had a night of insufficient sleep the day before. It is suggested to sleep longer if a person had a late night the previous night and has the time the next day. Snoozing for an hour or 90 minutes can compensate for the last night’s lack of sleep. However, a power nap can be helpful even for those who are not sleep-deprived since they help in refuelling the body.
One can feel less sleepy and see improved alertness, focus, short-term memory, and reaction time by taking a quick afternoon nap. According to researchers, at some point during the day, people may experience a drive to seek sleep. Studies suggest that naps improve alertness, work performance, and learning capacity in people with sleep deprivation. According to additional research, power naps can even strengthen the immune system.
How long should a power nap be?
There is no fixed definition regarding the duration of a power nap. But typically, short naps ranging from 10 to 30 minutes can be considered a power nap. 20 to 30 minutes of sleep is ideal for getting all the benefits of sleep without waking up exhausted and drowsy.
How to take a power nap?
Power naps are a little tricky since they either can help one wake up energized or make one tired and groggy . So, a trial-and-error method is essential to check whether power naps suit a particular person. If one finds it energising, the below steps can be followed to make the most out of it.
- Set the environment: Choose a cool and dark place for the nap. Avoid noises and lights to help the body calm down. It is better to switch off the phone or keep it silent. If it isn’t possible to control the environment or silence the phone, sleeping with an eye mask, removing an extra layer of clothes, such as a sweater, and using a white noise app help.
- Decide on the time: Studies suggest that 1 pm to 3 pm is the time when the temperature of the body drop and the levels of sleep hormone – melatonin – rise. People who follow a good sleep schedule can set their power naps during this time. But people who stay up late at night can schedule their naps between 5 pm and 6 pm to energise themselves during the early evening.
- Set the alarm: It’s ideal for planning a nap for 20 to 30 minutes. So, set the alarm keeping this time in mind.
- Caffeine intake may help: Having a small amount of coffee before a nap can help one stay more energetic when one wakes up. This may seem like countering the common notion that coffee help one stays awake. But studies suggest that caffeine takes around 20 to 30 minutes to kick in, and by that time, one can be done with their nap and wake up active.
When is it not advised to take power naps?
People with chronic insomnia or sleep apnea must avoid power naps. Daytime sleep cannot be an alternative to night sleep. So, people with such chronic sleep issues shouldn’t incorporate daytime naps into their schedule since it may interfere with their mandatory and regular night sleep.
As the name suggests, power naps energise and help boost productivity. Many organisations have started incorporating this into their schedules to improve the focus of their employees. It is best to check if power naps work for individuals and find time to do it.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Is it good to nap in the late afternoon?
It is advised to take power naps in the early afternoon since sleeping in the late afternoon may interfere with nighttime sleep.
Why cannot a power nap be longer than 30 minutes?
A nap longer than 30 minutes may lead to sleep inertia, and one may wake up tired and groggy.