Take a (Power) Nap! Part 2
by Rey Beltran | www.vigorbuddy.com
Here’s the last part of the power nap article.
For short term alertness, a short nap of about 20-30 minutes is recommended. One significant benefit from this kind of nap is improved alertness and performance without feeling low or interfering with your nighttime sleep.
Bear in mind that your sleep environment greatly impacts your ability to fall asleep. Make sure that your sleeping area is conducive for sleep. Temp should be comfortable. Noise should be minimal. Lighting should be minimal to none at all.
Don’t take naps too late in the day. This will heavily impact on your nighttime sleep or regular bed time. Don’t take naps too early in the day. Your body may not be ready for more sleep.
Don’t drive when you’re sleepy. Take a nap. Or if you can’t help it, drink coffee and try to get a 20minute nap.
Working on shifts may take its toll on your body, causing fatigue and poor performance. It is advisable to take naps and coffee, too. According to James K. Walsh, PhD, “Napping before work combined with consuming caffeine while on the job is an effective strategy for remaining alert on the night shift.”
- Restores alertness
- Enhances performance
- Reduces mistakes and accidents
Now when you’re body tells you to take a nap, do so without reservations.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF NAPPING
Napping isn’t the best solution for everyone who wants to take a break. Some people have trouble sleeping when they’re not at home, or they can’t really take a nap in the office. Others have difficulty sleeping during daytime.
Sleep inertia. The feeling of disorientation when coming out from deep sleep is called sleep inertia. People who take 10 to 20-minute naps usually experience this, especially when they come off it unexpectedly.
Sleep pattern disruption. If you have a regular bedtime, be sure to take your naps way before it. A long nap taken late in the day will definitely impact on your bedtime. It will prove difficult for you to sleep if you’ve just taken a nap a couple of hours before your bedtime.
Heart failure. One study has indicated that people who are at risk of heart failure increase their risk when they take naps.
Now that you know something about napping, try to find a way to benefit from it. Remember, a 10-20-minute nap is beneficial for you. When you intend to work late at night, you definitely need to have it. And if you’re in for a long drive, naps should be part of your itinerary.
(Parts of this article were lifted from sleepfoundation.org.)