Why Do You Need Power Nap- Secret (and surprising) Power of Nap
Today while writing about the power Nap benefits, I came across its power. I wake up roughly an hour earlier than usual, as my husband was in a hush to catch his flight this morning.
I was quite happy with my “early-started” day. Starting early means more time for myself on the yoga mat, without any doorbell or phone call. Everything went in my way till finishing other chores.
Now was the time to sit at my desk and get focused on some serious writing. Serious writing… what was I supposed to write? I had a totally disoriented mind and a heavy body. Earlier the same day, one more mood-diversion I felt and that was appetite. My urge to eat something heavy and more filling in the breakfast made me rush towards the kitchen and- I prepared finger-fries. I did so very convincingly to “console my son, missing his dad( As he left for a business tour this morning)”.
And now serious writing…I struggled for half an hour before quitting. I winded-up everything and surrendered to the bed. An intense and deep-sleep consumed my heavy body and a non- functional brain. Good 40 minutes passed within a few minutes on the bed! Finally, it was me waking up with a floating body and a sharp mind.
“A good sleep hides a magic wand within”. It was my “latest and recallable” experience although I reap power nap benefits almost every day.
Now let me explain to you some of the interesting points-
- Disoriented mind and a heavy body could be an outcome of my breakfast.
- The idea of the finger fries as a breakfast struck due to lack of sleep, not to console my son.
- I was fully relaxed within 40 minutes of sleeping which was extremely powerful! I experienced power nap benefits immediately.
We, along with other living beings need power nap to rejuvenate our brain and body. If you have a pet at home, a bird or a canine; must have noticed that napping comes so naturally to them. We, of course, no more natural modified our habits in a race to work hard.
In modern society, most of us are chronically underslept. We don’t rest enough and then try to compensate with 10 cups of coffee. But, caffeine may not actually be the best solution to our dizziness problem. Instead, the power nap definitely be!
What I wish you to Know about Power Nap- Power Nap Benefits
The magic wand of a Power nap keeps you in a good mood throughout the day. This is the most effective way to get rid of tired and sluggish feeling and increase cognitive abilities and alertness.
From a ground-breaking NASA study in 1995, researchers experimented the effects of napping on 747 pilots. Each participant was allowed a 40-minute nap each day. They demonstrated vigilance performance improvements compared to no rest group. Here are some of the top “power nap benefits”.
- Power nap boosts alertness. In case you need to drive long, take a power nap prior to that. You will be better behind the wheel person to enjoy your journey.
- It boosts your memory and learning abilities. If you are a student trying to learn a lesson just after lunch, remember to insert a power nap in between. You will learn effectively and stick to your desk longer.
- It reduces mistakes. And it’s for the people of my age group (?), either at home or inside a cabin, steal a power nap for your own sake! We can’t afford to make silly mistakes due to lack of sleep.
- Power nap has the power to refresh your brain and body. A well-managed power nap benefits to improve your productivity along with the overall well-being.
Hence power nap improves learning and memory, Manage Stress, boosts mood and creativity, increases productivity and alertness, and helps lower your risk for diseases such as heart ailments, diabetes, and insomnia.
Difference between a Nap and Power Nap
“Not all that glitters is gold, not all the naps are power naps”.
And one that was taken in your classroom “when the teacher inside” is definitely not!
A power nap can potentially be recognized from its outcomes.
There are times when you take a short nap during a busy workday and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to greet the world.
Other times, you sleep and wake up feeling lazy, shaky, and even more exhausted.
The answer lies in knowing Your Sleep Cycle
Yes, your sleep cycle is heterogeneous. It’s duration dependent by nature. A sleep cycle refers to the period of time it takes for an individual to progress through the different stages of sleep.
You never jump straight from deep sleep to *REM sleep. A sleep cycle progression takes place through the stages of non-REM sleep from light to deep sleep, then reverse back from deep sleep to light sleep, ending with time in REM sleep. Our sleep cycle is divided into four stages.
The cycle repeats itself. It flows like this
Stage 1 (light sleep) – Stage 2 (light sleep) – Stage 3 (deep sleep) – Stage 2 (light sleep) – Stage 1 (light sleep) – REM sleep
After REM sleep you return to stage 1 of light sleep and begins a new cycle. As the night progresses, individuals spend increasingly more time in REM sleep and correspondingly less time in deep sleep.
REM stands for rapid eye movement. During REM sleep, your eyes move quickly in different directions. That doesn’t happen during non-REM sleep.
First comes non-REM sleep, followed by a shorter period of REM sleep, and then the cycle starts over again. You dream typically during REM sleep.
The REM phase is also known as paradoxical sleep (PS) and sometimes desynchronized sleep because of physiological similarities to waking states, including rapid, low-voltage desynchronized brain waves.
How long is a sleep cycle?
The first sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes. After that, they average between 100 to 120 minutes. Typically, an individual will go through four to five sleep cycles a night.
Why Should We Not Enter to Deep Sleep When Power napping?
Stages 3 and 4 are referred to as deep sleep, slow wave sleep, or delta sleep. Once you enter this zone, it becomes very difficult to wake up. Children are almost impossible to wake up from this stage and likely to bedwetting, sleepwalking or night terrors. In deep sleep, there is no eye movement or muscle activity.
Deep sleep controls your sleep drive and offers the most restorative and fulfilling sleep of all the sleep stages. So if you take a quick power nap during the day, you’re able to fall asleep again at night. But if you take a nap long enough to fall into deep sleep, you face problem falling asleep at night because you reduced your need for sleep.
During deep sleep, your growth hormone is released. your body and muscles are restored from the stress. Your immune system reboots and memory refreshes itself for learning something new next day.
To summarise, the difference between an amazing nap and a poor one comes down to the duration of your nap. A nap turns to a power nap depending upon the stage of sleep you’re waking up. The perfect nap happens in stages one and two. However, if you enter the deep sleep of stages i.e. three and four, you are likely to interfere with your circadian rhythm. Further leading to disturb your body’s biological clock and make you feel like it’s a different time than the actual one. Something resembling a jet lag.
Hence, in order to stay in stages one and two, your power nap period should not exceed more than twenty to forty minutes long. If you ask my choice it’s 20 minutes of rejoicing! My biological clock is set to approximately 20 minutes and sometimes even less. This time exceeds only when my night sleep is disturbed.
This is the reason I personally recommend – less than or equal forty minutes. You can break the rule if you have full ninety minutes in hands.
This is because you can at least get through the sleep cycle once and your brain won’t feel disoriented when you wake up. This could also be a good advice to avoid taking 90 minutes or so power nap afternoon. Because this can potentially mess up your sleep later during the night. But 20 minutes of power nap can be stolen at any time of the day…say till 7 pm, really, I have tried and it’s your turn now! Please let me know, how powerful it was.
How to power nap
Most of the times these ‘mighty naps’ come to you supernaturally. But more likely to strike when you are indulged in some mental work rather than a physical one. So suppose you just started working on an important project and not finding your way because of some “sleepish –feeling” overpowering you, simply put your head down, cover your eyes and surrender!
This you can do successfully without the fear of entering into the area of deep sleep. Because you are not in your bedroom. In case you are planning to set aside a time to such nap, avoid caffeine to get the full benefit.
Although the ideal time is just after lunch because you need to nap powerfully to make your digestive system work properly.
To get the most out of a power snooze, follow these quick tips
Keep a regular nap schedule. Best napping time falls in the middle of the day, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Make it short
Set your cell phone alarm for 30 minutes or less if you don’t want to wake up irritating.
Although, sometimes, entering into sleep may take time and alarm may leave your nap incomplete. So it’s up to you to decide between your biological alarm and a physical one!
Nap in a dark room or wear an eye mask. Blocking out light helps you fall asleep faster. Sleep hormone Melatonin is produced when it’s dark.
Research shows that 25 degree Celsius is the most appropriate temp. to sleep. As the body temperature will further drop once you fall asleep, it’s better to wrap a blanket for full relaxation and comfort.
Meditate or simply listen to a “Meditation Script”
So if you are already into meditation, you may not be remembering how many timed you dozed off unintentionally. But when you want to sleep just for the sake of sleep it becomes really tough. So take a deep breath and relax your body.
However if are new to meditation learn here everything about meditation
BONUS- you will get an opportunity to have an AUDIO SCRIPT for the visualization meditation.
Conclusion- On The Benefits Of Power Nap
You should never doubt the power of a nap and its potential benefits. This could be a full stretch taken by you in the night or a power nap which is a short duration, mostly enjoyed into a daylight. Sleeping properly is the best gift you can present yourself. It is as much necessary as is healthy eating and exercising. Most often, when we need to manage time for so many to-dos, we find our resting time most handy to sacrifice! Which is certainly harmful in long term.
Sleep well at night. Most of the times need for power nap arises when we are not rested well in the night. You can see it as a “compensating system” developed by our brain and body. Once you know the mechanism -can reap the POWER NAP BENEFITS at your disposal.
Want to be super productive? Try your hands with Yoga.
Find it hard to manage your time for yoga? Do your yoga on your office chair.
And last if you are a business, small or a big one, G-suit( Google Apps) can be your best business buddy.
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