What if I could tell you right now “The Secret” to keeping yourself charged throughout the day? It would all together wonderfully change your life.
So, let’s have it. The trick is quite simple — a power nap. No, do not be surprised.
A quick nap in the afternoon has many benefits in the bag. It has physical as well as mental advantages, including a boost in cognitive abilities, memory, creativity, and stress reduction.
Here’s everything you ought to know about what a power nap is, to the benefits of napping, and everything in between.
Is Sleeping and Napping Same?
Do you consider sleeping and napping as one thing too? Unfortunately, you are not alone.
Sleep and nap are pretty different from each other. How? Keep reading, and you will find out.
Sleep is when your body has all the time to go through a five-stage sleep cycle a few times at least. Usually, a healthy adult body repeats the sleep cycle every 90 to 110 minutes.
But, how long is a nap then? Ideally, naps must be kept short to keep your body from entering the sleep cycle. Naps are intended to enhance your energy levels rather than causing grogginess if extended for a more extended period.
How Long Should a Power Nap Be?
This question must still be thronging your minds. Usually, the perfect duration for a nap varies from person to person. However, the majority of the professionals consider short naps around 10 minutes to be best if you want to wake up relaxed and alert.
Wait, what? How can a 10 minute be an ideal power nap length and benefit you?
Let me back my claim up with scientific research.
As per a case study published in Sleep, a journal, power napping for 10 minutes only can instantly improve alertness and uplift cognitive abilities. Moreover, a quick nap during the day is also devoid of any side effects such as sleep inertia.
Benefits of Napping
The simple truth is; keep the naps short and keep yourself happy, motivated, and electric all day long. However, be aware that naps should not interfere with your nighttime sleep schedule.
Did you know? Around 34 percent of Americans enjoy a mid-day siesta daily.
Not yet convinced about the miracles of a power nap? Let’s dig a little bit deeper then.
Read the following scientifically proven upsides to a quick nap.
Numerous studies have put forward that napping daily for at least 10 minutes can add immensely to your performance and productivity at work. As per a study conducted by NASA, a 10- minute nap can increase productivity by 13%.
Naps, by and large, improve;
- Cognitive response
- Psychomotor speed
- Short term memory
Besides mental benefits, napping also has physical advantages such as better immunity. Continuous work without any rest can prove to mess up your neuroendocrine and immune functions by raising cytokines as well as stress hormones.
Improves Learning Skills
Studies have positively shown that the ability to learn quickens right after a nap. Having a daytime siesta can immensely improve your learning skills in addition to focus and memory retention.
Apart from the adults, napping benefits children also in learning words as shown by a 2015 study.
Gives You a Break
Your body needs a break, even if you might not. If you keep working on and on for hours, there’s a mighty chance of your body being burnt out. No one wants that. Do you?
Here’s what a 10-minute nap in between work can do for you;
- Reboots your system
- Relieves work stress
- Improves emotional resilience
- Provides you a fresh start
So, it all boils down to this; stop whatever you are doing, take a nap, reorganize your mind and earn the chance to seize the day.
Reduces Blood Pressure
Imagine how great it would be if you could treat an ailment without actually doing anything? Nothing to be surprised about here. You can really do that.
A recent study exhibited at the Annual Scientific Session 2019 of the American College of Cardiology illustrates that a day-time nap is as effective in lowering blood pressure levels as any lifestyle change may be.
The same study further showed that naps lower the blood pressure level by 5 mm Hg, which means at least a 20% reduction in heart attack risks.
Don’t Have Time to Nap?
Let’s get this straight first; no one’s never too busy for a nap. You just have to reschedule things.
Ask yourself these questions to begin with;
- Don’t you take out 20-30 minutes to have a cup of coffee?
- Do you spend at least half an hour of your day surfing Facebook and other socials?
- How about an hour-long lunch break that you have daily?
Just take out 2-3 minutes from each of the above activities, and boom, there you have time for a 10- minutes power nap.
Expert Tips for an Effective Nap
You can relish the benefits of napping if done right. Let’s go through some of the practical tips for a healthful nap.
- The perfect power nap length is 10 minutes. This keeps the body from rolling into a deeper slumber, which would be unhealthy otherwise.
- Be consistent in your nap routine. For the maximum benefits, keep a regular schedule for napping.
- Turn the lights off and close the curtains. If a dark room is not available, put on an eye mask to serve the purpose.
- Do not nap at night. The best time to enjoy a siesta is around 1-3 pm. late-night naps can interfere with your sleep routine causing insomnia.
To sum up, all, having at least one nap during the day can miraculously introduce a new wave of energy in you. Napping is nonetheless a luxury that only a few people can afford in today’s time. However, a 1-minute afternoon power nap is the gateway to a better, active, and stress-less day ahead.
So, what else do you need then? Just nap your stress out.