How To Take A Power Nap

Across Europe and Latin America, the benefits of power-napping have long been built into the culture. The midday siesta is an integral part of a normal day. But North America is only just beginning to wake up to sleep.

Why Take A Power-Nap?

Many studies indicate that most Americans are not getting enough sleep. It is estimated that many of us are deprived of about an hour’s-worth a day, with parents of newborn infants clocking hundreds of hours of lost sleep in the first year.

Taking daily naps of 20 or 30 minutes will top-off your body’s essential sleep, and has been proven to increase your ability to concentrate, learn new information, and make crucial decisions.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Power-Napping?

Sleep deprivation will not only affect your concentration and decision-making capabilities; it has also been linked to an increased tendency for obesity, as a tired body craves more sugary and fatty foods. In addition, it has been shown that regular power-napping can considerably reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

When Is The Best Time To Take A Nap?

The optimum time to take a power-nap is eight hours after you first wake in the morning. More generally, between the hours of 1 PM and 3 PM. seems to be the most effective. Twenty minutes taken at this time leaves you feeling considerably more refreshed than an extra twenty minutes during the night. If you are anticipating a late night at the office, or socially, and know that you will not get a good night’s sleep, take a nap in advance. It will be more valuable than waiting to catch up the following day.

How Should You Nap?

[1] Make yourself comfortable. Loosen your clothing at the collar and remove your shoes.

[2] If you can close the blinds or the drapes, do so. Lock the door and turn off the phone.

[3] Set an alarm for a half-hour’s time: any longer than that and you will feel groggy when you wake up.

[4] Stretch out on a sofa or sit back in an armchair with your feet up, if you can. Otherwise, rest your head in your arms on the desk.

[5] Breathe deeply and picture yourself somewhere relaxing: the beach, a hammock, or simply in your own bed.

Chris Walker