The Benefits Of A Lunchtime Power Nap
In this blog we are looking at the benefits of taking a nap during the day and whether it does any good or just leaves you feeling even worse off.
Sleeping right in the middle of the day seems a bit odd, but did you know that napping for short, controlled bursts can freshen you up in the early afternoon where you start feeling a little drained? With a bit of self-control and a proper plan, you can get to resting your eyes after lunch, and work fresh into the afternoon.
According to research by air traffic control and even NASA, getting in just under 30 minutes of sleep can do your alertness and mood the power of good, and if you can manage to find a comfy secluded spot to have your nap you can reap the benefits too.
The ‘NASA Nap’
Some of the more attention orientated careers are in the aviation industry and it’s always an interesting eye opener (or eye closer as the case may be) to hear what air traffic controllers, pilots and even astronauts say about the practice of napping.
Studies by NASA themselves have confirmed the 26 minute (or just under half an hour) nap is very beneficial to alertness reporting that “Naps can maintain or improve subsequent performance, physiological and subjective alertness, and mood.”.
Here in the UK, the Sleep Research Council have also been looking into naps when advising the government on guidelines for drivers – they recommend a shorter 20 minute shuteye than the 26 minute limit, as it reduces the chances of grogginess later by staying well away from the point where the brain moves towards a deeper sleep state.
What Happens When You Lay Down For 26 Minutes
The body isn’t all that great at instantly entering a sleep state – it takes roughly 20-30 minutes for the brain to close down. A short nap means you’ll be interrupting your body before it fully manages to enter a sleep state and it should be enough of a rest to revive you before the grogginess associated with entering full sleep hits you.
As long as you wake up promptly, you can even drink a coffee before you start your nap. This will mean the caffeine kicks in right when you finish having your downtime, which means you’ll come back even more ready and alert.
Fitting a Nap Into Your Day
If you’re got a spare half hour, getting a nap in is as easy as just laying down for 20 odd minutes. Setting a timer on your mobile phone can help and also keeping music or a light on so you don’t get all the way to sleep. Try to clear your mind as it’ll help you get better rested.
Some people really benefit from one before nights out too – if you’re planning on heading out on the town a short rest at around 5pm before you start getting ready is a great way to make sure your energy reserves are charged and you stay alert.