Posted by Nicole on October 6, 2014
You should already know that sleep is important to your
mental health, and your physical health. Sleeping helps to regulate your
hormone production, gives your body proper time to check and regulate its own
systems, and also provide you with the much needed mental clarity that you will
call upon to do your work for the day. What you may not know is having the
occasional, or even better, regular, nap can have a lot of benefits.
Here are a few examples of naps, and some ideas that are
- The Lunch Nap: A relatively new concept
in North America, but practiced throughout other parts of the world. Frequently
couched within meals or planned breaks in work, especially in countries like
Spain, the “power nap” is a determined, short, and extremely refreshing way to
nap, usually during the middle of the day.
- A Nap That Could Save Your Life: Driving
across the state, and feeling drowsy? Scientists have shown that the effects of
sleep deprivation and fatigue on the body are even more debilitating to your
judgment and reaction time than being highly intoxicated. That's seriously
dangerous when you're behind the wheel of a fast moving, heavy, metal vehicle.
If you're feeling tired behind the wheel, pull into a safe area, and take a
nap. Even a half an hour could refresh you. Never pull over to the side of the
road into an emergency lane to nap. The further you are away from traffic, the
safer you will be.
- Power Napping by Numbers: Want to really
tinker with your sleep cycle, and get away with doing more by having more
waking time? You may be able to cut as many as two to three and a half hours
off of your continual, unbroken sleep cycle by adding in regularly scheduled
half hour naps. Every 30 minute nap that you take can take roughly an hour off
of how long you need to sleep at night. Some very serious power nappers attempt
to take only 30 minute naps throughout the day, all kept to an extremely
rigorous schedule. Even missing one of these 30 minute naps can completely
fatigue you, so this is only for the most hardcore of sleep hackers.
- Fuel for the Dream Machine: A 30 minute
nap can give you a significant boost in your level of alertness, which is why
that is the length of time recommended if you want to try and fit only one into
your regular day. To take that performance even further, it takes caffeine
roughly 45 minutes to have its full effects on the brain. That means that you
can drink a cup of coffee, nap, and then wake up with both the power of having
recently slept, and coffee. The effects can overlap and play off one another
If you're someone who quite often sleeps less than they
should, the answer lies in finding the right rhythm to your napping, and to
stick with it. Your brain and body will thank you.