Napping is the one of the simple pleasures in life. Parents and babysitters frequently tell children to take a nap but in most cases, they would rather stay up and play or watch television. As it turns out, taking a nap is also vital to the overall health of the human body. Fatigue and irritability can simply be solved by napping. This is especially important if a person is losing sleep at night. Insomnia alone can cause accidents, bad moods and energy downfalls. Moreover, it can lead to obesity, high blood levels and depression.
A person’s first solution could be sugar, such as candies or energy drinks. Although this can help for a quick wake-up, it mostly leads to an energy crash. Another option for better control of cortisol and hormone related stress is a power nap. This human behavior is proven effective by successful individuals of different ages. Napping is also the best way of naturally developing the body’s motor and cognitive functions.
Power naps are mostly done in the afternoon where most individuals undergo a pause from work within the day. It only takes about 7 to 10 minutes to regain the body’s energy and function for the rest of the day. For some, however, it may take a few practices to achieve a full, time worthy nap. Luckily, there are various lengths of naps for everyone to try that can benefit their specific need.
A nap from 5 to 15 minutes usually gives an ample amount of energy to get a person through the day. During the afternoon, the best length of nap is 10 minutes. This easily gets rid of sleepiness, sleep latency, boosts energy and lasts for 2 and a half hours. Meanwhile, 30 minute maps sound quite endearing, but they can also cause “sleep inertia.” This occurs when the psychological state of your body slows down, causing an increase in exhaustion or fatigue. A person experiencing sleep inertia can simply stretch or try jumping exercises to wake the body up. In most cases, long naps can give improvement for cognitive functions and can be best done a few hours before bedtime.
Moreover, there are other factors that affect a person’s nap such as “The Circadian Timing.” When it comes to napping, timing is vital. As of now, the best time to take a nap is in the afternoon, however researchers claim that there is still a lot of advantages and disadvantages to uncover over time. It is also important to take note of how long the person has been up, as the more sleepless hours the person has experienced, the more minutes or hours of nap he should have.
Different Kinds of Naps to Try
To help with a relaxing and energizing nap, clinical psychologist Michael Breus enumerated different kinds of naps. The first one is called “The CEO Nap” wherein the individual rests or naps for 25 minutes between 1 to 3 pm. “The Nap-A-Latte, “ on the other hand, is a done when the individual feels a bit of weariness. To do this, he or she should drink 6 to 8 ounces of coffee and take a 20-minute nap afterwards. This allows the body to rest and once the person wakes up, they would instantly feel the caffeine rush.
Breus also has a “New Mom nap” which gears more to new parents. The key here is to nap whenever the child does, giving the body more energy and patience once the child wakes up. For athletes, he offers the “Sports nap” that lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes. This energizes physical and mental performances. Lastly, the “Jet Lag nap” is for frequent travelers. First, they should sync their sleeping schedules with the foreign country they are currently staying at. Power naps are suggested a few hours before bedtime.
Not Just Healthy, a Power Nap is the Key to Success
EEP company director Fran Elkinson claims that the secret to her success is a quick, relaxing power nap. She does this by turning her cellphone off for a few minutes and sits in an office chair. Not only did this boost her energy for work, it also brought back her sight as she was once diagnosed with stress induced vision disorders.
These power naps are usually from 20 to 40 minutes and is a vital part of her day. Accorder to Elkinson, “naptime is non-negotiable. I recline in my office chair and shut out the world. I can’t manage without it. It also means I enjoy my social life more, as I feel refreshed.” Her key to success is proven true by University of Hertfordshire professor Richard Wiseman, officially using the term “napiness.” By napping for at least 30 minutes each day, individuals can lower their chances of obtaining cardiovascular diseases and other stress-related illnesses.