With our busy lifestyle, it isn't very easy to make yourself rest for a bit. However, if we continue to ignore all the signs of tiredness, we become increasingly sleepless, overwhelmed, and stressed. But where all that can take us?
Constant strain, numerous problems, and stress can weaken your immunity, making you sluggish, tired, and sicky. To stay energized and healthy, try to build healthy habits that will lower your stress and make your overall well-being better.
Why do you need to nap?
Lately, medical professionals state napping as a type of the most profound relaxation. For most working people, napping may seem like a matter of luxury. But considering how many health benefits it brings, you'd better make naps your habit.
Napping won't compensate you for inadequate sleep or a troubled sleep at night. Still, it can enhance your wakefulness, mental agility, cognitive functions, reflexes, and memory. Meanwhile, napping will reduce your level of stress and anxiety. Now let's look at various types of naps, so you can choose the one that suits your schedule best.
Types of Naps
It's excellent for all coffee lovers, but you shouldn't use it very often because of its strong effect. Nap-a-Latte means you quickly drink a cup of coffee and nap for half an hour, and ask everyone not to disturb you. While you will be asleep, the effect of caffeine will reach your blood, and after waking up, you'll feel rested and get an ultimate energy boost.
Yes, it sounds funny, but everyone, not just CEOs, can enjoy this type of nap. It's also called a power nap or a short midday sleep. This nap implies that you'll sleep around 25 minutes between 1 pm to 3 pm. It may be challenging to get up after this type of nap, but the benefits it brings are worth the risk. CEO improves memory, reduces stress, increases focus, reduces the risk of diabetes, and prevents dementia.
The Sports nap
If you're a pro/semi-pro athlete or exercise regularly, consider trying this type of nap. Just nap for some time to enhance your motor memories, fasten the process of tissue and muscle recovery, and energy boost.
The Disco nap
Use this napping method if you're planning to party all night long. Take a 90 minutes nap before going out, so your body will go through both mild and deep sleep phases. Combine the Disco nap with Nap-a-Latte to get a more substantial effect. This type of nap enhances your memory, gives you an energy boost to stay up all night, and increases creativity. Try to wake up at your usual time the next morning to avoid disturbing your sleep patterns.
The New Mom nap
It is not unusual for new parents to be chronically sleep-deprived. Newborns constantly demand their parents' attention, being extremely active during night-time. If you want to stay productive also as an individual, try to take a nap while your baby is sleeping. This way, you can manage more tasks in a day and quickly wake up during the night to check on your baby.
Napping: tips and benefits
As a professional, who wants to be super-productive on a working day, you should know about the harmful effects insufficient sleep may bring. Without enough sleep, you may end up being sleepy, slow thinking, and stressed. The more severe problems caused by lack of sleep are risks of diabetes, obesity, and higher blood pressure.
Luckily, you can use some tricks to doze off faster and get up well-rested. Thus, napping occurs to be the most useful trick to stay active throughout the day. And here's how you can make it your habit.
Tips for napping like a PRO:
- Determine which sleep pattern best suits your schedule
- Pay attention to your lifestyle, habits, and daily routine
- Choose the type of nap that you'll be able to have daily
- Create a napping environment that will help you relax - add scent sticks, candles, or even use relaxing essential oils
- Keep your oasis of peace tidy because it will help your body to relax
- If it's possible, nap in a dark, quiet place with a perfect temperature
- Consider changing your sheets - if you're cold, try fleece and jersey
- Paint your room walls - color has a powerful effect on our mood
- Avoid any gadgets before napping
- Don't nap for too long
Why napping helps you to become more energized and stressless?
After numerous studies about napping effects on our body, scientists have come up with impressive results. According to psychologist Kimberly A. Cote, naps are increasing abilities of logical reasoning and symbol recognition.
University of Michigan study has shown that people who do daytime naps are less stressed and frustrated. That happens because sleeping provides us with emotional distance from any unpleasant events.
Moreover, University of California research has proved people do better at tests after sleeping than after studying. It's also fascinating that the positive effect is the same no matter the nap length.
Psychologist Sara Mednick states napping has the bonus advantages of good night-time sleep. Mednick has compared the impact of napping and drinking coffee. She believes that those who nap before 5 pm for an hour to an hour and a half can use their words better (both when writing and speaking) than others who are drinking coffee. Caffeine does improve attention, but not the memory itself.
Saarland University in Germany also performed research on the connection between memory and naps. The volunteers were learning one single word and meaningless word pairs. Half of them took a nap first, and others watched a movie. Both groups remembered well the single words. But, the subjects who took a nap memorized more word pairs.
Power nap traps
Aside from the benefits napping brings to our health, it may also have some adverse effects. To avoid them, nap only during the day and only for short periods. But what exactly are power nap traps?
It may worsen your sleep disorder
Short naps usually don't have any influence on your night-sleep quality. But if you're facing a sleep disorder, napping can worsen it. Frequent naps will make it harder for you to doze off at night.
It may cause sleep inertia
Another trap is sleep inertia. This condition may occur if you suddenly awake during a deep sleep phase. It happens when your nap surpasses half an hour, so try to wake up before your body enters a deep sleep stage. Sleep inertia results in dizziness and disorientation, which are incredibly unpleasant during the working day.
It may damage your health
The worst negative consequence of naps is that they may lead to some heart disorders. If you are prone to heart disease, your naps shouldn't lengthen more than an hour. In case you aren't inclined to heart disease, a rest that lasts around 60 minutes can unblock your cognitive performance, creativity, and memory.
What are the biggest misconceptions of napping?
Now let's dispel the most famous napping myths so that you won't have any doubts about their effect on our energy and mind.
Napping will cause exhaustion
You can easily avoid exhaustion by having short naps no longer than half an hour. After the nap, you will feel more invigorated and refreshed.
Napping will disturb your night sleep
Unless you're facing a sleep disturbance, naps won't affect your night's sleep quality. Just make sure you have it before 5 pm.
The effect of napping will come only when you doze off
Just lying quietly for some time can have a significant impact on your energy level. Doing activities while you are tired will only cause further exhaustion.
Not everyone can nap
If you're not used to sleeping during the daytime, there's one way to teach yourself how to nap. Just lie down for some time each day. Finally, it will become your habit to relax at that exact moment.
Napping means your lazy
Many busy people avoid napping because they believe napping is just a waste of time. That's not true because naps help you recreate the energy and increase your memory. That means you'll perform your working tasks enthusiastically and with less stress.
As you see, naps are a great trick that helps you stay productive, energized, and motivated during a working routine. It allows you to enhance your cognitive skills and prevent some serious diseases caused by lack of sleep. If appropriately used, napping methods will make your life brighter and more peaceful, so try to make it your healthy habit. Stay tuned for more insights on health and productivity!
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- Sleep-dependent Learning: a Nap is as Good as a Night (2003)
- Napping to Modulate Frustration and Impulsivity: A Pilot Study (2015)
- Benefits of Napping in Healthy Adults: Impact of Nap Length, Time of Day, Age, and Experience With Napping (2009)
- Nap Sleep Preserves Associative But Not Item Memory Performance (2015)