The Rules Of Power Napping

the rules of power napping

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If you’re someone who is able to power nap, good for you!

But if you’re not, that’s okay - you probably just don’t know how to go about it.

According to Sleep Advisor, it’s the most effective way to wake up and refresh your mind when you’re feeling tired and sluggish. 

Research has shown that a power nap is much better than no nap as it enhances cognitive abilities and alertness. 

It has also been found to have important health benefits - A power nap improves learning and memory, prevents stress, boosts mood and creativity, helps jump start productivity and alertness, and even helps lower your risk for heart disease.

However, there’s a few things you have to know before getting the perfect power nap and enjoying a more productive day…

Rule 1 – Power napping is not for everyone

Sorry, but a power nap doesn’t work for everyone. If you suffer from insomnia or have trouble sleeping at night, power napping is probably a bad idea. It can confuse your body clock, disrupt an already dysfunctional routine and you could be staring at the ceiling until the wee small hours. Make sure your power napping routine isn’t affecting your nightly sleep negatively. You can try using a sleep tracker app such as Sleep Cycle to track your sleeping pattern.

Rule 2 – Duration is key

The most important part of power napping is the duration of it. Too long a nap takes you into deep sleep mode, leaving you tired and groggy afterward. Too little is, of course, not enough. Experts say that maximum recharging during a power nap is achieved by going from stage 1 sleep (that lovely ‘drifting off’ feeling) to stage 2 (slowdown of brain activity). Going any further is not advised. So how long does this process take? In most people, a power nap length of 15 to 20 minutes is just perfect.

Rule 3 – Timing is everything

The timing of your power nap is crucial. Sometime after lunch and before 3 pm. After the post-lunch energy crash, many people lose focus. Don’t leave it too late though – napping after 3 pm could have an adverse effect on your night’s sleep.

Rule 4 – Find a place most comfortable for you

Choosing where you have your nap also plays a part. A place where there’s less risk of being disturbed is a good start. If you can lie down, all the better, although a comfortable chair or even a reclining work chair can do the job too. And why not use those expensive noise-reducing headphones for something other than music? They’ll keep out intrusive noise, as well as acting as a ‘stay away’ warning to your co-workers!

Rule 5 – The dozing is in details

So you’ve established you’re a power napper and decided the duration, place, and timing – so what now? Well before you doze off, eliminate as many distractions as possible. Close your laptop or mobile. Shut off your computer screen. Do whatever you need to do to minimise distractions!

Also, Sleep Cycle recommends drinking coffee right before your power nap - It takes between 20 and 45 minutes to start to do its job, so if you drink a cup just before your power nap, you’ll feel more alert when you wake up.

That does make sense if you think about it! Hope this helps!


by Kyle Roshen Jacob