The length of your nap and the type of sleep you get help determine the brain-boosting benefits. The 20-minute power nap -- sometimes called the stage 2 nap -- is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano.
Some people pop up from a power nap, ready to take on the world. Others take a while to shake off the sleep inertia and stop feeling groggy. It might take some trial and error to figure out if a power nap works for you.
The science behind limiting the duration of a power nap boils down to something called sleep inertia. This term refers to the drowsiness a person may experience upon waking from a very long nap, which may significantly impair cognitive performance throughout the course of a day.
Cornell University social psychologist James Maas coined the term. A power nap combined with consuming caffeine is called a stimulant nap, coffee nap, caffeine nap, or nappuccino.
A power nap, also known as a Stage 2 nap, is a short slumber of 20 minutes or less which terminates before the occurrence of deep slow-wave sleep, intended to quickly revitalize the napper. The expression "power nap" was coined by Cornell University social psychologist James Maas.
Various durations are recommended for power naps, which are very short compared to regular sleep. The short duration of a power nap is designed to prevent nappers from entering SWS. Depending on duration and intensity, awakenings out of SWS results in sleep inertia, a phenomenon associated with grogginess, disorientation, and even more fatigue than prior to napping. Since sleep is the most effective and beneficial recovery method from fatigue, experts recommend considering duration vs. risk of entering SWS.
According to clinical studies among men and women, power nappers of any frequency or duration had a significantly lower mortality ratio due to heart disease than those not napping. Specifically, those occasionally napping had a 12% lower coronary mortality, whereas those systematically napping had a 37% lower coronary mortality.
One study showed that a midday snooze reverses information overload. Reporting in Nature Neuroscience, Sara Mednick, PhD, Stickgold and colleagues also demonstrated that "burnout" irritation, frustration and poorer performance on a mental task can set in as a day of training wears on. This study also proved that, in some cases, napping could even boost performance to an individual's top levels. The NIMH team wrote: "The bottom line is: we should stop feeling guilty about taking that 'power nap' at work."
Some companies have nap rooms to allow employees to take power naps. This may be in a form of a nap room with a recliner, or chairs specially designed for power napping installed in a designated area. Companies with nap rooms say that employees are happier and become more productive at work.
We mentioned above that power naps are short because of sleep cycles. These cycles are divided into four stages. Stages 1 and 2 are a light sleep, Stage 3 is a deep sleep, and Stage 4 is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
For those who can do a midday nap, studies show that they are particularly great for alertness, learning, memory, and performance. Since you will likely be reaping these benefits after your nap, schedule tasks that require more brainwork, or cognitive function, for after your power nap.
Power napping has been shown to improve cognitive performance and many people find that a short rest leaves them feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. There are many ways that power naps can help boost productivity.
Quick, 20-minute power naps are typically better than longer ones since lengthier naps cause you to get into deeper stages of sleep, leading to an increased feeling of grogginess upon awakening. Longer naps (and naps later in the day) can also interfere with nighttime sleep. Shorter naps are typically refreshing and can help increase alertness for a few hours.
People nap for a variety of reasons. Perhaps taking an afternoon siesta is part of your culture, or maybe you have noticed a midday nap helps you feel less stressed. However, busy work schedules do not always allow for long daytime breaks to retreat to bed. This is why many people are intrigued by the idea of the power nap.
We explore this short nap, specifically designed for workers, and delve into how long a power nap should be, the benefits it provides, how it compares to drinking coffee for alertness, and tips for a better power nap.
Although midday napping is culturally acceptable in many countries, such as Spain, Italy, China, and Japan, it is still associated with laziness in the United States. Researchers are working to reverse the power nap stigma, since taking a nap during the workday can increase alertness and potentially counteract the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on work performance.
Research suggests 10 to 20 minutes is the ideal length for a power nap, although short naps lasting up to 30 minutes may provide benefits depending on what time of day you take the nap and how tired you were beforehand.
A power nap is not a substitute for proper sleep. If you have trouble reaching a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night, you may need to take longer naps, make further lifestyle adjustments, or talk to your doctor for help sleeping better.
When we "spring forward" an hour this Sunday morning, most of us will lose a little sleep. It might be worth it for a summer of longer days, but sleep is as important to health as diet and exercise. James Maas, psychology professor and author of Power Sleep who coined the phrase "power nap," tells CBS This Morning some things you can do to make sure you are getting enough sleep.
So, what can you do? Maas advises a 20-minute power nap during the day. "By limiting it to 20 minutes you will not go into delta, or deep, sleep and wake up foggy, worse than if you hadn't taken the nap at all," he says. "By limiting it to 20 minutes you're not going to have nocturnal insomnia, you'll be able to get to bed" at your regular time.
"A power nap, between 15 and 45 minutes, can improve memory and reduce fatigue for the rest of the day," said Dr. Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. "If you're otherwise well rested, that kind of nap can actually boost performance pretty well."
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Besides the obvious solution of napping at your desk on your lunch break, power nappers have been known to grab a few winks in their car, the office lunchroom, conference room, or bathroom, in the library, on a park bench, at a coffee shop, or at their gym.
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Sara Studte, a graduate biologist specializing in neuropsychology, working with her PhD supervisor Axel Mecklinger and co-researcher Emma Bridger, is examining how power naps influence memory performance. The results are clear: 'Even a short sleep lasting 45 to 60 minutes produces a five-fold improvement in information retrieval from memory,' explains Axel Mecklinger.
Strictly speaking, memory performance did not improve in the nap group relative to the levels measured immediately after the learning phase, but they did remain constant. 'The control group, whose members watched DVDs while the other group slept, performed significantly worse than the nap group when it came to remembering the word pairs. The memory performance of the participants who had a power nap was just as good as it was before sleeping, that is, immediately after completing the learning phase, says Professor Mecklinger.
The power nap is 10 to 20 minutes long. Take a power nap to quickly boost your energy and alertness. A power nap will help you get back to work right away. This is because this amount of sleep does not yet reach the deeper states of a sleep cycle and it should be easy to get up and work again. The napper stays in the lighter stages of NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep.
As humans, we do not have superhuman skills. And how well we know when to focus and when to be distracted determines how productive we can be at work. However, power napping can be your new superpower for a more productive day. It also boosts higher performance and helps you combat a stressful day at work.
Sleep deprivation also affects an employee's performance. Although the idea of midday napping is still practiced in some cultures, it is still frowned upon or associated with laziness in many, especially in the US. The idea of breaking the stigma around taking a power nap and encouraging your employees to take them at work to improve their work performance can be quite interesting.
According to a study by the center for disease control and prevention, one-third of Americans go to work sleep-deprived. Lack of sleep can cost the company billions of dollars. Even though taking a nap in the middle of the day is frowned upon in many parts of the western world, many organizations are being more open now to the power nap culture at work.
Taking a 15-minute power nap is the best way to get you out of a groggy mood because it will not interfere with your work schedule and won't disrupt your sleep inertia. Sleep-deprived people might benefit more from an earlier nap, while people who are not sleep-deprived might benefit from a later nap.
It can be really helpful for both you and your company to encourage the employees to take a 15-minute power nap at work. In addition to increasing productivity, it improves the company's CSR (corporate social responsibility) reputation. Thus, introducing a concept similar to the Japanese workplace culture of having nap pods at the office and making midday naps more normal could be the next best thing for your corporate wellness program. 2b1af7f3a8