As a nation, the United States appears to be becoming more and more sleep deprived. Most times our busy lifestyle doesn’t allow time for naps. While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor-quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can improve mood, alertness, and performance.
According to the National Sleep Foundation Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush are known to have valued afternoon naps.
Do you remember how napping as a child never seemed appealing even though you knew it would be beneficial? Well, midday napping for adults is slowly becoming more acceptable and is backed up by science and HR.
Due to long hours, sleep-deprivation, and unproductive workers more and more workplaces are embracing naps and even creating designated rooms for them.
According to researchers and scientists, when done properly naps can be extremely beneficial in retaining memory, upping productivity, and improving performance. 6% of workplaces have designated a napping space within the facility.
Now that you understand the importance of napping and some of the benefits, let’s find out how to master the art of napping.
Types of Naps for All Occasions
There are 5 different types of naps for all occasions with different benefits that go along with each type.
- The Power Nap (10-20 minutes) This nap is best for getting straight back to work
- The Nasa Nap (26 minutes) Proven by scientists to improve pilot performance by 84% and alertness by 54%. Best for a day you’ll be working after-hours.
- The Bad Nap (30 minutes) This nap causes “sleep inertia” (a sleep hangover) for up to 30 minutes before restorative benefits kick in. Best to avoid if possible.
- The Slow-Wave Sleep Nap (60 minutes) Helps cognitive memory processing, remembering places, faces, and facts. Best before a big presentation or an important meeting.
- The Full Sleep Cycle Nap (90 minutes) Helps creativity, emotional memory, and procedural memory. Best before an impending project deadline or a big test.
Other Important Napping Tips
The ideal nap time is between 1 pm and 4 pm. You will want to be in a slightly upright position to avoid deep sleep in a room with dim to dark lighting to stimulate melatonin.
The ideal nap temperature is 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit. Believe it or not, there are some napping accessories you could use while napping:
Pencil: Einstein’s trick: hold a pencil while you’re drifting off before a power nap- the pencil will drop and wake you up
Coffee: experts recommend drinking a cup of coffee before you take a power nap for maximum alertness when you wake up. The caffeine won’t kick in for a good 20 minutes.
Cell phone: Set aloud, but not grating alarm to make sure you wake up in time.
Sleep mask: same rules apply to your nighttime habits- create a dark environment to fall asleep faster.
By now you are probably thinking about ways to incorporate naps into your daily routine. Keep in mind that getting enough sleep on a regular basis is the best way to stay alter and feel your best. Check this post for tips to help you fall asleep and get better sleep. But when fatigue sets in, a quick nap can do wonders for your mental and physical stamina.
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