There’s actually a proper way to nap
How can something as simple as sleep be this systematic?
Aug 14, 2017
Are you one of those people who dreaded nap time as a kid? I feel you. What our five-year-old self didn’t realize is that sleep is worth more than gold by the time we enter the “real world.” And unless you have all the time in the world, do you know what’s the one thing you can’t have when you’re a working adult? Naps.
It’s not a rare occurrence to feel a sudden drop in productivity or energy in the afternoon (especially after having a big lunch). You try to down a cup of coffee, but it doesn’t work. So how about a nap?
New research on the science of sleep has shown that our desire for good naps is “perfectly natural.” Just like any health fads out there, napping also packs many perks. It’s no surprise that some of the biggest companies in the world (think Facebook and Google) have incorporated ‘napping rooms’ to encourage their employees to use them and reap its benefits.
You would think that an hour-long nap is perfect at any time of the day, but not all naps are created equal. There’s a good chance that you’ll experience sleep inertia, or the impairment of cognitive and sensory-motor performance that’s present after you immediately wake up.
Believe it or not, there’s a proper way of napping. How long you nap is one of the most important factors you need to keep in mind to master the art of napping.
According to NestMaven, short naps of 15 to 20 minutes are the most beneficial as it can “increase alertness and concentration, improve mood, and fine-tune motor skills.” A 20-minute nap means you’re only entering the first two stages of sleep, making it easier for you to wake up.
This nap lies on that sweet spot between light and deep sleep. You’re still in the lighter stages, but you won’t run the risk of feeling disoriented when you wake up. A 45-minute nap helps enhance creativity and improve sensory processing.
90 to 120 minutes of nap is for anybody who’s catching up on sleep. It clears the mind and improves memory, plus you don’t have to worry about feeling the effects of inertia since you’re going through a full cycle of sleep.
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