Technically a short sleep taken during the working day to restore one’s mental alertness is known as a power nap. It’s just like speed dating you don’t know whether it will be successful or not but still you want to take a chance and do it.
Good power naps are told to improve alertness and help a person to awake directly without the detrimental sleep inertia. I have had the naps from 10-30 min duration. According to me, 30 min is the best time for a nap as more that this the body starts moving into the sleep inertia and you start feeling disoriented.
- Promote performance and learning capabilities
- Ability to restore the hormonal imbalance caused due to sleep deprivation
- Help to increase productivity
How to do it?
- Find a good place to nap – You may get distracted by your surroundings a lot so a comfortable place with not much disturbance so you can gather yourself is needed.
- Choose a dark room – You tend to sleep faster in dark rooms. Keep eye mask with you always, it helps a lot in blocking light and helping us to get asleep fast.
- Make sure the room temperature is normal – Too hot or too cold temperature will make body relax and will tend you to take deeper sleep and hence no power nap.
- Turn on slow music on earphone – It helps us get into a right state of mind. This also helps as a noise cancellation mechanism and hence better sleep and power nap.
- Please say not to mobile phone or any other alarms and gadgets. They are the biggest killers of a power
- If you are not able to sleep try counting 1-100 slowly and I bet you will have a good sleep.
- The hardest thing is for the people to realize that napping is not sleeping and hence people tend to feel as if they cannot do it.
- Next is you have to experience it once by trial to see what it feels like and once you get that experience it eventually becomes easy to make it a habit.
- Relax enough before you think of start taking a nap and get everything out of your mind. It is easier said than done.
If you stay down, you risk going from the REM sleep mode into slow-wave sleep, which would need you to stay in bed for 90-120 minutes before your sleep cycle is complete. If you get up, the drowsiness will vanish in a minute or two. So, paradoxically, napping longer makes you drowsy, not rested.
With 3-4 power naps through the day, I’ve found that I could, on occasion, drastically reduce my need for sleep. I’ve done it for a week or two at a time, basically sleeping only about 2-4 hours a night, without any clear ill-effects during the day. I’m still undecided whether that’s something that I can or want to pursue a longer term lifestyle change.
Another point worth highlighting is that napping is not just a cure for drowsiness. It’s also simply a way to make yourself more alert. If you have a choice between drinking a strong coffee or having a 20-minute nap, always take the nap – you’ll feel more alert and smarter after the nap, and its after-effects will last longer.