We’ve all been there when our eyelids feel heavy middle of the day or after our lunch break on a work day. A lot of us have early starts in the day and most of us don’t get enough sleep and suffer from sleep deprivation.
Naps are a great way to combat fatigue. But sometimes, even after taking a nap, one can feel more tired compared to the way you felt before you took the nap. Why is that? This is because the length of your nap and the type of sleep you get will help with brain-boosting benefits. The 20-minute power nap, aka the stage 2 nap is good for alertness and motor learning skills.
And if you nap for longer than 20 minutes, research shows that longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. A nap between 30-60 minutes aka a slow-wave-sleep, is good for decision-making skills, memorising and even recalling directions. Getting REM sleep aka rapid eye movement, 60-90 minutes help with making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems.
What are the benefits of having naps?
- Regular naps may reduce stress
- Increase productivity
- Make up for insomnia
- Relaxes you by reducing your cortisol levels (stress hormones)
- Possibility of decreasing your risk of heart disease
So what are the ideal ways to nap? Here are some tips:
1. Be consistent
Keep a regular nap schedule. Best times to nap are between 1pm and 3pm.
2. Make it quick
Set your mobile phone on silent mode and set your alarm for 30 minutes to wake up so you won’t feel too groggy
3. Set the environment
Try to make a darker environment by either turning off the lights or if that is not possible, to dim the lights as much as possible or wear an eye mask. By blocking out light, it will help you fall asleep faster.
4. Be comfortable
If your environment is feeling very cold, keep warm. Either have a shawl, jacket, cardigan or use a blanket if you have that on hand to stay cosy. Your body temperature also drops when you sleep so keeping warm will keep you comfortable and you’ll be able to nap more effectively.