Sleep is one of the most integral aspects of our lives, as it has a direct effect on how we feel when we are awake. If you don’t have a restful sleep, then other aspects of your life will start to become miserable. Unfortunately, there is no certified “best” way to sleep, and how you choose to do so may determine how well you sleep.
For example, some people positively despise naps and can only get their required rest in six- to eight-hour chunks every night. On the other hand, you have polyphasic sleepers who can seemingly power down at any given moment for a couple of hours, and they wake up looking fresh as day.
In fact, the topic that we will be discussing today will be directly related to making the most out of your time and feeling as energized as possible. We are going to be going over the power nap, which is a term that is used quite often when it comes to using your time effectively, but it seems a lot of people don't know what it means.
Today, we are going to be providing you with all of the details about power naps, including what they are, how they work, what these naps do for your body, and whether they are good for you. Feel free to read through this guide from start to finish or to skip down to any part that interests you.
Contrary to what most people believe, a power nap isn’t all that different from a regular nap, as they both consist of a short sleep during the day for the purpose of rest. Where a power nap differs from other nap types is in its duration and in its intent more than anything else.
As you may have guessed from the name, a power nap is a nap that is taken to provide you with more energy than you would otherwise have. It is a technique that is used to get the most out of your day by tricking your body into giving you the most refreshing type of sleep.
To understand how power naps work, it is essential to comprehend how sleep works and what exactly makes us feel rested first. The part of sleep that is responsible for you waking up and feeling well rested is a relatively short chunk of your sleep cycle called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
You may recognize REM sleep as the phase of sleep when you experience dreams. When you take a power nap, your objective is to fall directly into REM sleep, so you don't waste any other time in other forms of rest, thus giving you a feeling of restfulness in a much quicker time.
Of course, you can’t train yourself to power nap right away, as you will likely miss your REM cycle when you first start off. When it comes to teaching yourself anything related to sleep, it will take time and effort to see results in the first place, just like in lucid dreaming and polyphasic sleep.
We are often asked to define power nap, and the most concise answer we can give is that it is a short period of sleep that is used to recharge your energy levels.
Of course, you are probably interested in how you can enjoy the benefits of power naps, and it just takes dedication. If you don’t try to power nap every day, it will be much more of a challenge for you to train your body to do so. Try and find a chunk of time each day (preferably around the same time) to train your power napping.
You will have to decide on a power nap time between 10 and 30 minutes to nap (with 20 minutes being the easiest and most common) and add on an extra five minutes so that you can fall asleep. Once you have chosen your time, set an alarm or a timer for your nap (a 20-minute nap will have an alarm set for 25 minutes later).
That extra five minutes that you add to your timer or alarm is crucial as it should give you enough time to fall asleep in the first place. Don’t get discouraged if you are unable to fall asleep within the first five minutes, as this is guaranteed to be the single most significant challenge involved.
That’s all there really is to power napping, setting a short timer and trying to fall asleep quickly.
The length of a power nap is typically under 30 minutes. If you extend your power naps past 30 minutes in length, you are starting to reach the domain of polyphasic sleep, which is a similar but entirely different discipline.
Most of the time, when you are starting out with your power naps, you may wish to start them off a little longer before progressing to shorter naps. It takes quite a bit of training to be able to accomplish a 10 minute power nap.
This is another question that we get often, and much of the time, it depends on the person who is napping. The vast majority of people will usually be unconscious when they are power napping, but it is possible that you won't entirely lose track of your surroundings while you power nap.
When you power nap, you are only improving your energy levels throughout the day, and you will have to consider that you still need a full night’s rest. While you may be able to push back your bedtime a few hours thanks to your renewed energy, power naps are no substitute for real sleep.
First up, being more wakeful and alert throughout the course of the day means that you will be more focused and productive, which is beneficial for your professional life.
Frequent naps and resting have also both been linked to improved cardiovascular health.
Thank you for taking the time to read our guide to power napping. We hope that this practice will be able to improve how rested you feel vastly.