Like how a car needs refueling and maintenance, our body also demands the same treatment. Luckily, nature has its own mechanism to replenish and repair our body’s system — we call this method “Sleeping”. But because of our fast-paced lifestyle and the surge of multi-hobbies, 8 hours of sleep have become insufficient.
Although there are many alternative ways to restore our body energy, like energy drinks, multivitamins, food supplements, and sugars to name a few, the most powerful of all would still be a Power Nap.
But how long should we take a nap? What are the benefits we can gain from taking naps? And how will we know that we are napping and not sleeping? So let’s find out.
Napping should be considered a privilege, as not many can take a nap whenever they want to. Naps don’t necessarily mean that you’ll be slacking off at work; it is actually quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, a quick snooze can increase productivity while minimizing procrastination. This is because your brain, while your body is in rest-mode, can give your system an immediate push to reboot your mental and physical efficiency.
There are different stages of power naps, from 10min. – 90min. max. Any longer than that means you are already in the state of sleeping.
10-20 min. Power Nap
This is the ideal length for power naps. 10-20 min. is enough to boost your body senses and give you ample energy to continue whatever activity you have left off or about to do. This is also a surefire way to avoid REM (rapid-eye-movement) sleep, which is a condition close to dreaming and hence deep sleep. This length is also enough for you to wake up and stand on your feet without wanting to go back to slumber land.
Although this length is as effective as a 20 min.. power nap, the result will only be visible after half an hour. The first minutes after waking from this type of power nap should be heavy and shall feel as though your body is resisting acceleration. This sensation of grogginess is defined as sleep inertia.
An hour nap can rejuvenate your memory. After waking up, although you will feel grogginess for the first couple of minutes, you will soon realize that you’ll find it easy to remember facts, faces and names. This type of nap is considered as an early stage of deep sleep. If you don’t intend to rest this long, you should be mindful of your napping position. Napping while sitting slightly upright will do the trick.
This is a lighter stage of deep sleep, which is very close to actual sleeping. Unlike longer power naps, where you will experience a desire to sleep longer, 90 min..of rest would not result to sleep inertia after waking up. This is ideal for those who want to replenish their creative juices. You can also experience REM, which is highly involved in having a dream, during this time of sleep. Other benefits from napping this long are improvements on your emotional and procedural memory (i.e. answering math questions, playing a guitar).