What is a power nap?
How you ever wondered why a small kid sleeps in the afternoon for an hour and as he grows up the frequency and duration of these naps is reduced, moreover these afternoon naps are neither encouraged. Many a times you must have experienced a natural feeling of drowsiness in the afternoon even after getting full sleep the night before of about eight hours or more. The people who tend to sleep less are more prone to afternoon drowsiness. Studies have proved that you can improve focus, reduce strain, be more attentive and energetic with a short nap. The habit of taking a power nap will make you more patient, tension free, improve your response time, improve learning ability, make you more fit and efficient in your work.
Your sleep requirement
The human body requires at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night to rejuvenate and renew itself naturally. Less than six hours of sleep almost increases your chances road accident by three times. The interesting news is that too much sleep is also not good. Studies have shown that people who sleep for more than nine hours have shorter lifespan than those who sleep for seven to eight hours.
What happens when you are sleep deprived?
Sleep is kind of cumulative. Like, if you sleep less one night, you experience lethargy the following day. And if you continuously sleep less for many days you are highly sleep deprived which negatively affects the following:
- Response time
- Sound Judgment
- Processing of information by the mind
- Short term memory
- People who are sleep deprived also tend to be moody, aggressive, stressed and washed out.
Power nap and benefits
Studies have proved that fifteen to twenty minutes of nap in the afternoon is more restful than fifteen minutes of morning sleep, although the last couple of hours of early morning sleep are highly beneficial for the health. Our human body was intended for this. The human body needs some rest after about eight hours of waking up, hence power naps are extremely beneficial.
How many hours should I be sleeping?
The normal seven to eight hours sleep involves moving through several stages which is altogether called the sleep cycle. The sleep cycle includes
-deep sleep: when the human body starts repairing itself.
-REM sleep: also known as the rapid eye movement sleep. It is in this stage the human mind is renewed.
The experts suggest the nap duration to be of fifteen to twenty five minutes. Longer naps will take you into deep sleep stage which is difficult to wake up from. Moreover, longer naps will increase difficulty in falling asleep at nighttime. You should see what your schedule allows. If you have fifteen minutes, take a quick nap. If you have five minutes, just close your eyes and sit in a comfortable position. If you have an hour to spare, then you can actually complete sleep cycle, an hour’s nap is effective if you have been missing sleep for days.
Napping tip: Use an alarm clock if you do not want to end up sleeping for hours.
Also take tips from our previous article on improving sleep