Power Napping - is it good or bad for you?

During a long day of working or studying you may be in need of what people call a ‘power nap’. Power napping is a short time of sleep with the aim of being recharged or ‘powered up’ especially if you do not have time or the opportunity to go to sleep for a long time. Whether it's on your mattress or on the sofa bed in the living room, many people are no stranger to this method of rest especially as many start to work from home. There is a growing number of specialists, who believe that frequent naps might help us improve our sleep-deprived lifestyles. So, when should you take a power nap and how should you do it? Read on for some golden tips on power napping:

When should you take a power nap?

According to experts, the best time to nap is between 1 and 4 pm as any later in the day may interfere with nighttime sleep. Sara Mednick, an associate psychology professor at the University of California and author of the book ‘Take a Nap! Change Your Life’ claims that mid-day is the best time to nap, partially because the sun is at its greatest point and temperatures are at their maximum, making us feel drowsy instinctively.

The advantages of catching up on sleep are numerous: 

A six-year research found that taking a 30-minute sleep at least three times a week can reduce the risk of heart attack by 37 per cent.

Other studies  have discovered that napping decreases stress and anxiety 

How long is too long?

The duration of a nap might range from 10 to 90 minutes. Two shorter, 25-minute naps at lunchtime and after work may be enough to help you make up on sleep debt if you're habitually fatigued. Sleep debt is when you sleep fewer hours than your body requires and this has an effect on your mood and energy throughout the day. 

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, head of the Sleep Research Centre at the University of Surrey, claims that many individuals benefit from naps. “If you don't get enough sleep at night, catching up can be quite beneficial. You'll be less weary and agitated, and several studies have shown that sleeping can help prevent disease.”.

Where can you take a power nap?

If you are at home you can easily take a nap in your bed, your sofa or even the sofa bed if you want extra comfort without leaving the room you are working in. If you are not at home but want to nap, it's important to know that certain postures are associated with sleep in our body. This means you can enable yourself to have a nap when you get as close as possible to these positions. For example, you can try and lift your feet and rest them somewhere if you are unable to lay down. Make sure to choose a quiet, dark location if possible, but at the absolute least, switch off your phone and put your computer to sleep mode. If you're going to slumber somewhere noisy, it could be worth investing in a set of earplugs.

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