To Nap or Not to Nap


Early to bed and early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise! But that is not the case with our youth today. Our work patterns are continuously changing, client calls, team meetings or binge watching a new season, inevitably the sleep is getting effected. Going early to bed is getting compromised. In a way, it is affecting our work performance and the activeness during the wakeful hours. Practicing a good napping pattern when we are active and awake can work amazing benefits.

Though there is no substitute for a long sleep, you can keep yourself active through night or day if you can cultivate the habit of taking short naps in between. Body tends to take quick nap once it hits a certain threshold. These short naps (also termed as power naps by John Naas a Cornell psychologist), are intended to maximize effectiveness of sleep in short durations. It is a known fact that Einstein, Winston Churchill, and even Leonardo da Vinci have employed the technique of taking power naps. There is a lot of research that substantiates that power naps not only to compensate for lost sleep but also to keep you alert during the work hours.

Power naps were studied for many individuals in various demographics and work conditions and it is found that five-minute naps are too short to move deep enough through sleep stages to produce a notable benefit. But, sleeping for 30 minutes or longer gives the body enough time to enter deep sleep. However, napping for too long or waking up from slow-wave sleep can leave you feeling groggy for up to an hour.

One very important aspect to take care for a good power nap is to arrange for not having any disturbances. Find a place for yourself at home or office where you can have 20- 30 mins of undisturbed time. It is also proven that having a coffee just before a power nap can be helpful though coffee is a stimulant, if you nap just after taking the coffee, it will make you feel rejuvenated and active once your come out of the nap.

Napping needs to be cultivated into the system as a habit, if you are a “natural napper” then you can just find a place and doze off. Otherwise, the habit needs to be cultivated. Given the pandemic, most of us are working at homes. There is no better time to cultivate power naps than now. If the naps are to be used to compensate for sleep, then it is even more important to have a comfortable mattress.

However, power naps are not for everyone, these naps can also affect your regular long sleep. Keep in mind that napping during the daytime could interfere with your night-time sleep. If you are already suffering from sleep disorders, then it is best to take right consultation. Power naps also vary between age group and other factors.  Power naps act as good boosters to your alertness but cannot completely compensate for the regular sleep. They can enhance brain function by increasing alertness and retention power.

So, first set up your times where you can take an undisturbed power nap. Set an alarm for yourself and have a coffee if you feel the requirement before taking the nap. The habit can be cultivated over a period to enjoy maximum benefits of a power nap without getting it to affect your general sleep routine.