The Power of Napping
Sleep deprivation is continuously becoming a bigger worldwide issue. Especially among us #careerlions that is. In a previous article on the blog, we already touched on the importance of sleep on your way to success. We briefly mentioned that naps could be a good remedy to sleep deprivation. When I was still studying and living on campus, I would regularly go home for a quick nap. It honestly was a great way to maintain focus throughout the day. Now that I am working full time I never really nap anymore. I am starting to miss it and feel like I am missing out. In today’s article, we will help you understand the power of napping and share the best practices we gathered for you.
So, what are the napping facts? Is it really something we should all be doing? And why should we be doing it?
There are three types of napping: planned, emergency, and habitual. Planned napping is a technique that considers you sleep in order to move your normal bed time. Something I personally used to call pre-party or post-jetlag naps. Emergency napping is when you suddenly feel very tired and have no choice but to sleep and stop your activity; a.k.a. me sleeping in the car or plane. The last one, but definitely not the least is habitual napping. This concerns daily naps at regular times. The nap I referred to when I was still in University. The nap I would mostly like you to consider is of course this habitual nap, as this will really help you get the most out of life!
A short video I found on the TED website provides us with the following facts. A nap of 60 minutes can improve alertness for 10 hours. By taking a 26-minute nap you can enhance your performance by 34% and overall alertness by 54%. You will be able to decrease day time sleepiness by 10%, elevate your mood by 11%, improve the quality of interactions by 10% and improve mental abilities by 9%. The funny thing is that most mammals (85%) sleep in short periods over the day rather than these huge blocks us humans introduced.
While there is a stigma on napping that it is for lazy people. World class performers have been nappers such as Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, and many professional athletes. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be napping if they have achieved greatness doing so!
Best Napping Practices
You should only be napping 20-30 minutes. This allows you to get the most benefits without feeling drowsy or interfering with your night sleep. Don’t take your naps too late, as you really want to make sure it is not in the way of your night sleep. You are not trying to counteract that with napping. Preferably before 17.00 and after lunch. Especially after lunch would be great as you will probably get tired as your body is busy digesting all that food you just had.
If you are working a fulltime day job, you might want to convince your boss to give you a napping space. Otherwise consider the back of your car for a nap right after you had lunch during your break.
Use a sleeping mask or nap in a dark room to make it easier to fall asleep. My favorite sleeping mask as well as Liona’s is the one from Muij, as it has an additional flap to make sure the light doesn’t reach your eyes via the nose. Another great benefit is that it comes in a to-go pouch making it easy to bring with you without it getting dirty. My personal touch is to close your eyes and then focus on the darkest point you can find with your eyes closed. This works a little bit like counting the sheep and makes sure you don’t think of anything else.
Will you give napping a try after reading this? Or were you already a professional napper and do you have some additional tips for those only now wanting to give it a go? Do share in the comment section below. Enjoy your future naps!