Power Naps and What You Need to Know
This guest blog post was curated for Bucky by Johanna Cider.
From the moment we’re born, sleep plays a crucial role in our lives. As children, we’re encouraged to take naps during the day to help us get enough rest. As adults, the idea of napping can feel like a luxury. But napping can be a practical and effective way for adults to recharge and increase their productivity. While napping isn’t a replacement for a healthy sleep schedule, it has many benefits. Here’s a run-down on everything you need to know about power napping.
What is a Power Nap?
A nap is a brief sleep outside of your regular full-night’s sleep. A power nap is a deliberately planned 20-30 minute nap. This prevents you from entering deep sleep, which can make you feel disoriented and fatigued upon waking.
Pros and Cons of Power Napping
Power napping can give you some of the benefits of sleep at a fraction of the time. The first benefit is an obvious one - you get more sleep! This is a true luxury for any busy adult. Other benefits include extra energy, improved performance, memory, and mood. There are no real downsides to power napping. The only potential risks are caused by napping too late or for too long. Over-napping can interfere with your natural sleep schedule and leave you feeling groggy after waking up. Power naps are intended to supplement a healthy sleep schedule and to give you a recharge when needed. If you’re unable to make it through the day without falling asleep, you may need to fix your sleep schedule or consult a doctor.
How to Power Nap
Power napping is all about replenishing and recharging your body. You should eat something healthy a few hours before your nap so you’ll be comfortable and not distracted by hunger. It’s a good idea to avoid caffeine, as this can decrease sleep quality and may negate the effects of a nap. Avoid phone and computer screens shortly before, as this may stimulate your mind too much and the blue light can affect sleep quality. It’s also important to set your phone to silent so it won’t disturb your nap.
The best place to take a nap is in a quiet and dark room where you can comfortably relax. Blocking out sunlight with blinds or thick curtains will help you fall asleep faster. If this isn’t possible for you, blockout eye shades are a great alternative.
The timing of your nap is important. You don’t want to leave it too late or it may be difficult to get a full sleep later. The ideal time is in the early afternoon, between 1-3 pm. For most people, this is the middle of their working day, the time when their energy levels will naturally start to decrease. However, the best time to nap really depends on your schedule. For night owls it might be better to nap around 5-6 pm.
Remember that the key to power napping is to wake up before your brain enters deep sleep. This is why 20-30 minutes is the recommended duration for a power nap. Everyone’s sleep patterns can be slightly different, so it may take a bit of trial and error to figure out how long you should nap to get the optimum result. Since there is a risk of over-napping, you should set an alarm to wake you up.
Sleep is a precious thing, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. Power naps are a great way to get some extra rest and look after your wellbeing. It doesn’t take a lot of time and only requires a comfortable space to rest in. The habits you create from power napping can also be used to help you get a good night’s sleep. Next time you’re in need of a recharge, give power napping a try.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A creative writer from Wellington, New Zealand - Johanna Cider loves that she's able to pen her thoughts through her blog. While her typical day involves typing away in her computer for hours, she also likes taking an afternoon snooze to keep her creative juices flowing. Visit Musings of Johanna to see more of her works.
*Bucky does not endorse any products or practices suggested by guest bloggers. All ideas and opinions are their own and do not reflect the opinions of Bucky.