Perfect power napping in 5 steps
In the generation of our grandparents, it was still a natural part of everyday life, but in today’s meritocracy it has become increasingly lost – the midday sleep.
Whoever loses sleep – this seems to be the motto of our young dynamic society. Ever fuller calendars and overcrowded e-mail mailboxes. Only rarely are there still people who take time for a lunch rest and if so this is quickly branded lazy and sluggish.
Studies have shown that the effect of half an hour of sleep is anything but sleep-deprived: power napping at noon promotes concentration.
As mentioned at the beginning, it used to be normal and at around 1 p.m. to have a midday sleep for half an hour. Today, this midday rest is rarely practiced. It’s a pity, because studies prove that a powernap only gets us back in shape. Increased concentration and performance are just two of the side effects of properly implemented power napping.
Powernap as a natural stimulant
The effect of Powernaps has been studied in numerous studies. The results are perhaps astounding for one or the other Powernap opponent, but they are considered secure and proven.
- It has a positive effect on short-term memory.
- It boosts performance.
- It reduces weight: Tired people have a greater appetite for fatty and sweet foods.
- It protects against heart disease: if you sleep half an hour at noon three times a week, you can reduce your heart attack risk by 37 percent.
- It’s a good mood: those who have slept little are quickly irritated. A nap increases the concentration of serotonin in the blood, a hormone that lifts the mood.
- It prevents states of exhaustion.
5 Steps to a Successful Powernap
To make your powernapping a real success, you should follow the following 5 steps:
Step 1: Find the right environment
If you’re just starting to think about a suitable place for your Powernap, then you’ve already made the first mistake. Whether at home, in the office or at the airport – you can make your powernap anywhere. You should not be prevented from doing so, because a short nap is not a criminal offence and therefore no one can forbid you. Of course, it is a good place to find at least a quieter place instead of putting your head on the table in the market café.
Step 2: The Right Time
Basically, the right time depends on your feeling of tiredness. However, it is recommended to choose between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The reason is quite simple. The time from 13:00 to 16:00 is about half of our day. As in football, we try to take a short break at half-time of the day, only to be able to start the final sprint with recovered strength.
From 4 p.m. we should rather prepare our bodies for the night’s rest. A powernap would counteract this, because we get tired later in the evening. This means that we go to bed later, but we have to get up at the same time. The result would be less sleep. In the long run, therefore, we would be manoeuvring ourselves into a kind of vicious circle.
Step 3: The right base for the Powernap
A comfortable bed is not always available when we are on a nap. That is why we should be prepared ourselves. As a rule, after a few days, we know where we like to rest at noon. Accordingly, we can prepare ourselves.
If you belong to the group “Desk Sleeper”, then simply put a small pillow in your workplace.
Here you will definitely find the right pillow for your Powernap.
Step 4: Your Powernap – Goal
In order to be able to set the correct duration for your Powernap in the last step, you should realize your goal. What do you want to achieve with your Powernap?
You can distinguish the Powernap goals into three categories:
- Fighting fatigue quickly
- Catch up with lost sleep
Think about it before you go into power napping. Because depending on the objective, I recommend a different duration for your nap.
Step 5: Powernapping Duration
Now that you know what the result of your Powernaps should be, here’s my recommendation.
- Fighting fatigue quickly: 1 – 5 minutes
- Boost performance: 5-26 minutes
- Catch up on lost sleep: 90 minutes
Avoid the 30 minutes of naps at all costs. Many set their alarm clock at this time because it is a nice round number. In fact, studies have shown that sleep inertia begins after 30 minutes. You feel exhausted and sometimes even drunk.
Is power napping healthy in the long run?
The relaxing effect of a nap can hardly be disputed. Anyone who has ever held a Powernap can confirm this. But is it healthy in the long run?
Numerous studies show the positive effect of power napping. Up to 35% of the short rest period increases our willingness to perform. If these short naps have such a positive effect, it can’t be bad for me, can it?
Exactly, power napping is not bad at all. On the contrary, power napping is even good and quite normal for us humans. A look at our natural biorhythm confirms this. According to Dr. Martin Braun of the Fraunhofer Institute for Labour Economics and Organization, exactly the time after dinner between 12 and 2 p.m. is optimally suited for power napping. During this time of day we are the least powerful and naturally have a need for sleep.
Fact: NASA uses powernaps for its astronauts. A NASA study found that NASA pilots’ productivity increased by 34% and alertness by 54% if the pilots had a powernap of 26 minutes before.
Without night sleep it is still not possible
Even more important than a perfect powernap, however, remains the night sleep. This is of great importance for many areas of our health. Chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of depression, high blood pressure, heart attacks and other diseases many times over.
All the more worrying are the results of the 2017 Sleep Study of the Technicians Health Insurance Fund (TK). Half of those surveyed said they sleep a maximum of six hours a night.
You can find out why the 6-hour sleep is so bad here.
On average, however, people need seven to nine hours of sleep. The DAK also confirms a negative trend with one of its surveys. Since 2010, the number of diagnosed sleep disorders among professionals aged 35 to 65 has increased by 66%.
You can find more about how to sleep better here:
A powernap is not a sign of weakness or laziness. Quite the contrary! It boosts your performance and concentration. It’s also good for your health. A sleepy and balanced body has a stronger immune system and more mental strength. You will get into stress less quickly and avoid depression.
No one should let you know that power napping is not good for you. I think we have now made that clear here. Follow the 5 steps and benefit from a relaxing powernap.
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