As someone doing multiple home-based jobs, it isn’t easy to find time for sleep. I currently have a full-time writing job and two freelance writing gigs. On top of that, I provide training for ESL teachers three times a week. Just thinking about everything I need to do in the coming week is enough to give me nightmares. So, what do you do to power nap?
While most people think that nothing beats sleeping at night, some believe it’s one of the keys to maintaining their energy throughout the day. If you’re one of these people, you’re in illustrious company. Thomas Edison, Margaret Thatcher, John F. Kennedy, and Leonardo Da Vinci all adore catching an afternoon power nap to keep their energy levels up, especially when getting enough sleep at night isn’t possible.
As more people are transitioning from office to home-based work, many are still unable to adapt. There used to be a chasm that separated your work and home life. You can go to the office and forget about your issues at home, at least for a few hours. That chasm disappears when you start working at home. Now, you have to find time to do your work and house chores at the same time. Believe me, that’s not easy.
How do you power nap?
Power napping isn’t for everyone. If you have a sleeping disorder, catching a few z’s in the afternoon might confuse your body clock and disrupt an already dysfunctional sleep cycle. Once you make sure that you don’t have a sleeping disorder, There are still a few things to consider.
Know the Perfect Duration
If your power nap is too short, it doesn’t have the restorative effect you’re expecting. Too much takes you into a deep sleep, and that just leaves you tired and groggy when you wake up. The ideal nap goes into stage 1 of sleep (drifting off) to stage 2 (your brain activity slows down). Going beyond that isn’t recommended by experts. How long, you ask? Well, it takes 15-30 minutes.
Find the Ideal Time
For this information, we have to consult the experts in this field – the Spanish. “Siesta” has been a tradition for the Spaniards since the beginning. I think it’s safe to assume that the ideal nap time is “siesta time”, which they do between lunchtime and 3 PM.
There has been some information circulating that people feel sleepy after lunch because all the blood goes to the stomach and leaves the brain, thus making people sleepy. Any scientific research has not satisfactorily proven this. Instead, experts say the feeling of sleepiness in the afternoon is caused by your natural body clock or circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that there is a lull in our body’s energy at 2 AM and 2 PM.
Identify Your Power Nap Zones
Make sure you take your power naps in places where you won’t be disturbed. Taking a nap on your office desk might be a bad idea, unless you lock your office door. If you can lie down on something (e.g., couch, bed, or recliner), that would be a big plus. Napping shouldn’t just be about resting your brain and eyes, it should also be about resting the other parts of your body. If possible, use those noise-reducing headphones for something besides music.
Don’t you just hate it when your mobile phone or the landline (they still exist folks) rings while you’re napping? Here’s a useful tip – set your mobile phone to silent, disconnect the landline (if it’s possible to do so), and turn off your laptop. Then, you can go into your power nap.
Taking Naps Doesn’t Mean Not Sleeping at Night
While it’s true that taking power naps is good for recovering lost energy, sleeping at night is still essential for your body. Try to take at least 4 hours of normal sleep at night. Power naps are just a way to compensate for your inability to sleep at night. It’s not supposed to be a permanent substitute.
Power Nap vs. Coffee
According to a study conducted by Sara Mednick, Ph.D., a well-timed power nap can get you more energized than a cup of joe, provided it doesn’t exceed the ideal duration. Exceeding 30 minutes may have a negative effect on your motor dexterity. Sleep inertia may also result in you becoming more groggy when you wake up.
Power naps are not just about closing your eyes and lying down. As we’ve discussed, there are many factors that decide whether you have a good nap or a terrible one. If you’re considering making this a habit, you’d better make sure you’re getting maximum benefit from it.
A few well-timed power naps sprinkled throughout the week and you’ll feel like a new person. It doesn’t even matter how many tasks you need to finish. Think about all the work you can do after waking up from a nap that lasted 30 minutes but felt like the full 8 hours.