A power nap, also known as a high-intensity sleep, is a short 20-minute snooze to re-energize the body and mind. They can be highly effective for combating fatigue because it only takes the body ten minutes to fall into the first stage of sleep.The heart rate slows down and blood pressure decreases as muscles relax. Rather than falling entirely into a deep sleep, during a power nap, the person experiences a period of rapid eye movement or REM. There are lots of benefits to incorporating power naps into your schedule.
Power Naps Can Improve a Person’s Memory
Power naps are an excellent way to boost memory. When people sleep, their working memory gets restored. But a good night’s sleep isn’t always possible with the hectic schedules of the modern world, and most people do not get enough rest. Poor sleep quality at night leads to difficulty concentrating and performing tasks the next day.Those who don’t get much sleep at night but take frequent naps during the daytime have better word recall and cognition. This supports the theory that power naps improve the brain’s ability to process and retain information.
Power Naps Can Keep a Person Feeling Energized
When a person is tired, their body produces hormones like cortisol, the stress hormone. This hormone makes them feel more awake and helps them concentrate better. When they sleep, the brain produces serotonin, the happiness hormone, which makes people feel good.Taking a power nap during a mid-day slump can help regulate stress levels and brighten your mood once you wake back up. It can make you more energetic and productive throughout the day.
Power Naps Boost Athletic Performance
Sleep is an athlete’s best friend. It gives them the time to rest their sore muscles, and adequate rest lessens the risk of injury or illness. Taking a power nap is beneficial for athletes because it can increase responsiveness and reduces fatigue.Getting that quick cat nap in before a training session or game could give you the extra boost you need to perform at your best.
Power Naps Help Improve Creativity
Taking a power nap allows the brain to restore its creative juices. The artist Salvador Dali, one of the most famous Surrealist painters, napped for half an hour each day to refresh his artistic mind.A power nap can also increase alertness. Being more alert means you might be more innovative, coming up with new ideas and solutions to problems you encounter at the workplace and in your personal life.
Power Naps Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Taking a power nap can greatly decrease the risk of heart diseases such as atherosclerosis, a condition associated with fat build-up inside the arteries.This build-up causes arteries to narrow and harden. It places strain on the heart, which has to work harder to pump blood around the body. Over time, this strain may lead to heart failure. Taking power naps — getting adequate sleep, in general — reduces the risk of developing these problems.
Power Naps Help Fight Depression
Studies have found that people who take regular power naps are less likely to be depressed than those who don’t. Insomnia is a common symptom of depression, affecting three-quarters of people with the disorder.During power naps, the brain releases endorphins or happy hormones, which means these little sleep snippets can help improve mood.
Power Naps Increase Performance on the Job
Napping for 30 minutes has been linked with increased productivityon the job . Studies suggest that after taking a power nap, employees are more likely to focus and complete their tasks effectively.A midday power nap during a lunch break can help boost attention span and improve quality of work.
Power Napping is Beneficial for Children Too
Taking regular short sleep breaks throughout the day is also beneficial for children. If kids are exhausted, they become irritable and moody. It gets difficult for them to concentrate on the tasks at hand and can lead to destructive behavior, tantrums, and unnecessary stress.If children have regular power naps throughout the day, they’ll be able to remain calm and continue with their work more effectively. They are also better able to retain information.
Power Naps Should Not Be Too Long
Desptie the many benefits of power naps, if they go on too long, they can do more harm than good. The recommended time is about 20 to 30 minutes. When a person naps longer, they risk falling into a deep sleep and waking up with sleep inertia. Everyone is familiar with this groggy, confused feeling that comes from over-sleeping.Long nappers also experience trouble trying to get to sleep or staying asleep at night because their sleep patterns are disrupted. This may eventually lead to chronic sleep problems.
Power Napping: A Great Way to Improve Health
Studies have found that those who take regular short sleep breaks during the day have an easier time dealing with life’s daily stresses. They’re also less likely to develop obesity and diabetes. To boost your productivity, mood, and overall health, try taking regular power naps.