We all know that feeling… The gut wrenching scream of the morning alarm as we are ripped away from our sleep. That moment when you roll over and groan because you know you that you didn’t get enough sleep last night… we’ve all been there.
But responsibility awaits you right? And sleeping is not an option. Maybe a simple nap is the solution that we’ve all been looking for to curb the afternoon yawn-fits.
Why to Nap.
Aside from the obvious, you feel less sleepy, reason naps can improve performance and ever increase effectiveness and alertness.
According to study done by the NSA on fatigued pilots, a 40 minute nap increased the pilots’ alertness by 100 percent, and their performance by 34 percent.
According to the National Sleep Foundation there are three different kinds of naps.:
Planned Napping –
when a person decides to nap without necessarily tired. These kinds of naps are used to prevent the napper from getting fatigued later in the day or late at night, for example.
When the body is physically too tired to continue functioning and staying away. These kinds of naps are often needed by people driving long distances or working long tedious hours.
Habitual Napping –
Admit it, we all miss having “nap-time. Habitual napping is characterized by a person taking a nap at the same time every day. Like young children and their “nap-times” and adults taking quick naps after lunch or dinner.
How to Nap Right.
Now that we’ve established the different kinds of naps out there, it’s important to know how to maximize your nap experience with these napping techniques.
Short naps are better.
I know we would all love to lie down, stretch out and then just pass out for a solid hour or two, but the National Sleep Foundation recommends taking shorter naps for about 20-40 minutes at a time.
Sleeping for longer that the recommended 40 minutes can result in sleep-inertia , leaving the napper feeling disoriented, or having a negative impact on the already established sleep schedule at night.
To avoid sleep-inertia be sure to take naps in the early afternoon so not to throw off nightly sleep schedules.
Environment is Everything.
Make sure the setting is right for you. The room should be warm with low lighting. A quiet environment is important as well.