Naps are very short periods of sleep that could be as short as 10 minutes and as long as 90 minutes. In this era of sleep deprivation, naps are needed. Naps are good and provide much-needed rest, but you must know that they can never replace sleep.
There are different types of naps, and they all have their advantages. The nano-nap (10-20 seconds): The nano-nap lasts between 10-20 seconds. This kind of nap occurs for the briefest of moments like when you nod on someone’s shoulder on a public transport. There are no proven benefits of this kind of nap.
The micro-nap (two to five minutes): The micro-nap lasts for about two to five minutes. It is helpful for curbing sleepiness and keeping one alert for longer periods of time. The mini-nap (five to twenty minutes): The mini-nap lasts five to twenty minutes. It is good for increasing stamina, motor performance, motor-learning and alertness.
The power-nap (20-30 minutes): This is the most effective kind of nap. Several top CEOS and performers have a schedule for a power nap. It is also adopted in some company cultures. The power nap lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes, and it provides all the benefits of all the naps mentioned above. The power nap also provides other benefits like improving long-term memory and boosting muscle memory.
The lazy man’s nap (50 to 90 minutes): The lazy man’s nap is the longest of all. It improves perceptual processing and boosts human growth hormone production for repairing bones and muscles. But this kind of nap might leave you groggy, and it could interfere with your night sleep.
Naps improve performance and alertness: Scientists from NASA’s Ames Research center in California conducted a study on pilots and found that 26-minute nap during flights when the plane is manned by a copilot can boost alertness by 54% and improve performance by 34%.
Naps reduce blood pressure: A study by a Greek cardiologist at the Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Greece revealed that midday naps reduced blood pressure and reduced the risk of a heart attack.
Successful people nap: A study on violinists by K. Anders Ericsson revealed that the successful ones napped more than the others. Famous people like Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Napoleon, Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci and others have been known to be power nappers.
Naps can reverse the adverse effects of a poor night sleep: A study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) revealed that naps could reverse the effect of a poor night’s sleep and reduce stress.
Find somewhere comfortable but not too comfortable to nap. Avoid noisy areas and look for dark areas. Block all thoughts and clear your head. Set an alarm if needed. Practice napping until you get used to it. Once you get used to napping, you can fall asleep within a minute and wake up some minutes later feeling energized. Some experts recommend taking a cup of coffee 30 minutes before falling asleep.
Naps are great and will keep you refreshed, productive and more focused. They reduce stress, improve your mood and keep you healthy. Have a scheduled time of the day for power naps, and you will experience the benefits of naps.
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