Are you feeling lethargic and tired? Do you feel like you need a quick pick me up? If so, maybe you resort to caffeine drinks such as coffee or energy drinks to get you through the day. However, it’s better for your health to try a different approach before ordering that mocha latte with a double shot of espresso or cracking open your favorite energy drink.
Those costly energy drinks and overpriced lattes may get you through your afternoon slump, but the sugar crash that comes with it is inevitable. Sure, you’ll feel energized and ready to go, but when those effects wear off, you’ll be left feeling more fatigued than before. Instead of depending on caffeine why not try something else?
One of the best ways to beat that mid-day slump is by taking a power nap. Power napping is a very popular way to get through a rough day at the office, study for finals, or give you a quick boost during your long day. Taking a power nap will leave you feeling refreshed and alert without the grogginess associated with regular napping.
For those of you out there that are skeptical of power naps, here are just a few of the many benefits to change your mind:
5 Benefits of a Power Nap
1. Short and Sweet
Many of you may not be able to squeeze in a nap during your busy schedules. Who has an hour of free time anymore? That’s the best part about taking a power nap. You can get an effective power nap, with great results, in as little 15 minutes. The recommended time for a power nap is between 15-30 minutes. Even NASA astronauts take power naps. They found that 26 minutes was the best average time for power napping.
2. Instant Improvement
By taking a short 20-minute power nap, you can immediately improve your cognitive functions, which makes you more alert and focused. A power nap also improves your fatigue, mood, and creativity. You’ll be able to brainstorm effectively and solve problems faster. You won’t be yawning through that important business meeting, and it will definitely help you stay focused during that afternoon seminar. These short power naps don’t take long to recover from, and the benefits last for hours.
3. Say No to Sleep Inertia
You may dislike naps due to the groggy feeling you experience after waking up. It can be hard to shake and makes you feel even more tired than before. This grogginess is called sleep inertia. When you nap for longer than 30 minutes, you enter into your first sleep cycle. The sleep cycle lasts for about 90 minutes. If you wake up before this sleep cycle, you won’t have that drunken groggy feeling, and you will still be alert and feel refreshed.
4. Nap on the Go
You don’t have to power nap at home in your bed. You don’t need a couch, recliner or a cot. Whether you are at work, in class or on the subway you can power nap virtually anywhere. You really don’t even need a place to lie down. Most people power nap while sitting. Take a quick 20-minute nap at your desk or during your afternoon commute to wake up feeling revitalized.
5. Overall Health
You wouldn’t think that heart disease or blood pressure are related to napping, but they are. Studies show that power napping no less than three times a week for no more than 30 minutes at a time can lower your risk of death from heart disease by 37 percent. Your blood pressure can even lower by the thought of an upcoming nap, especially if you power nap around the same time each day. The physical and psychological benefits of power napping are very important. It will leave you feeling relaxed and can reduce stress.
Napping isn’t for everyone, but power napping is! Power naps won’t affect your nighttime sleeping in the same way as those longer naps do. You can squeeze in a power nap virtually anywhere and anytime, and the health benefits are amazing. No amount of caffeine or pharmaceutical drug out there can give you that late afternoon boost without side effects or sugar crashes. Enjoy the benefits of a quick and simple power nap to get you through the day to leave you feeling rejuvenated and alert.