Researchers agree that a short daytime nap can do wonders for our mood, energy and stress levels, brain, and heart, and many companies started to allow their employees to take a short nap during their time at work to boost their effectiveness.
A power nap is a short sleep during the day, usually, in the early afternoon, that lasts for 10-30 minutes.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School maintain that these naps regulate the natural wake and sleep cycle (circadian cycle) of the body, and restore alertness.
Here are some of the countless benefits of power naps:
- A power nap boosts alertness almost immediately, improves physical performance and reduces fatigue
- Power naps have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, as they improve the circadian rhythm, and lower stress levels and blood pressure
- Power naps have been found to boost both, short-term, and long-term memory
- Power naps energize the body and increase performance, and have been shown to reduce the effects of sleep deprivation
- Power naps boost productivity at work and positively affect the daytime vigilance level, performance level, and self-confidence
- A short siesta daily manages high blood pressure and prevents strokes and heart disease
- Researchers found that enough sleep is essential for the immune system, so a brief nap during the day strengthens immunity and normalizes the body’s immune response
- A power nap in the afternoon boosts testosterone levels and improves male sexual health
- A 30-minute power nap helps the body to deal with stress, calms the nerves, and normalizes hormone levels
- A short nap in the afternoon can improve mood and manage depression and anxiety
Experts have been trying to find out the perfect nap length, and some believe that a short nap length of 10 minutes can give instant benefits, while a 30-minute lap offers numerous benefits that are felt later during the day.
Many studies agree that a 10-minute nap is the most effective length of time to nap for.
In general, a short power nap of 10-20 minutes boosts energy levels and alertness, and a 30-minute nap leads to a mental sharpness that lasts a bit longer but might cause a feeling of grogginess.
You will boost your cognitive memory if you nap for an hour, and it will help you remember facts, names, and faces better. Yet, a longer nap of 90 minutes or more provides a full sleep cycle which improves procedural memory and creativity.
Moreover, in order to take the most out of your short afternoon nap, follow the tips below:
- Take a nap not long after your lunch, and try to fit it between 1 and 4 pm
- Try to nap at a regular time every day
- Don’t nap too long, as the ideal nap time is between 10 and 30 minutes
- Make sure you will not be distracted during napping, so set the phone in a silent mode
- You can try the 4-7-8 breathing technique to fall asleep easily
- It would be best to nap in a dark place, that is not to too warm
- Enjoy a cup of some relaxing tea before or after your nap
- To fall asleep easily, gave a banana or a cup of warm milk
- Drink your coffee just before napping, and it will help you wake up more alert afterward
People are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of short power naps in the afternoon, which led to the creation of various tools that can help you enjoy your siesta, such as the Ultimate Office Chair for a power nap.
It looks like a regular chair, but it can turn into a completely perpendicular office bed with ease.
It has a 170-degree reclining feature and helps you stretch out and enjoy a short nap while at work. You can purchase it on Thanko (Japan) for ¥29,800 (about $270), or seek some cheaper alternative on Amazon.
Yet, if your office does not have a designated room for napping, do not worry, as there are numerous options which can serve as an isolated and relaxing location to help you take a brief nap, such as:
- If you have a smaller pillow and a blanket in your drawer, just turn off the computer shut the door, and nap at your desk in the office;
- A car is one of the most comfortable places to take a nap. Park it in the parking lot in front of your company, lock the doors, switch on relaxing music, and enjoy your siesta;
- If you have a conference room at work, it would be an ideal place to catch some shuteye;
- You can use the lounges at the gym or in the athletic club and take a short nap;
- If you carpool, your carpool partner might be interested in driving on the ride home while you drive in the morning, and if he does, make sure you bring headphones or earplugs, so he can listen to the radio or talk on the phone;
- You can enjoy your siesta in a library or a bookstore, and you can be sure that you will not be distracted by others. Also, many libraries and bookstores sell coffee for your post-nap enjoyment;
- Numerous department stores have comfy seating areas for people who get tired while their loved ones enjoy shopping, so you can use them to get the much-needed break.
Apparently, everyone encourages you to take a short power nap every afternoon, so enjoy it!