A good power nap can work wonders for your energy level and help you perk up in no time. But the length of your siesta is important. If it lasts too long, you can risk feeling more sleepy than when you started napping. Learn how much time you need to ensure the most beneficial nap.
How to get the best power nap?
A decent power nap is not just something for children and the elderly, we can all benefit from a catnap. To get the most out of your power nap, you might like to follow these tips:
- Set your alarm clock so you definitely wake up when the time is up. Once the alarm is set, you can relax fully and give in to sleep without worrying about sleeping too long
- If you know yourself well enough to be aware that you will probably extend your siesta by pressing the snooze button, then place your alarm clock out of reach, so you have to get up to switch off the sound
- Set your phone to silent mode and use earplugs to block out any other sounds that might disturb your slumbers
- If you cannot drop off, settle for resting with your eyes closed. This is also effective
- If you're used to taking an after-dinner snooze, you will find it easier to drop off because the body loves routines and is familiar with your sleep pattern
A short 2-5-minute power nap probably doesn't sound like much, but sitting down and closing your eyes for a moment can be effective. Even if you're busy and don't feel that you have time to rest, those few minutes are well spent, because they can reduce your fatigue.
A decent 10-20-minute nap is ideal for boosting your energy and making you more alert. If you stick to the 20-minute limit you will be in a state of light sleep. Not only will you feel refreshed, you'll also find it easy to wake up.
If you power nap for 30 minutes, you will very likely wake up disoriented and groggy. This is because your sleep will have reached the deeper sleep state. When you are interrupted in deep sleep, it almost feels like having a hangover. You can expect to spend 30 minutes coming round and enjoying the effect of your snooze.
A 1-hour siesta is not advisable, because it can make you feel even more tired. The power nap may have a slightly beneficial effect on your memory, but you can expect to feel extremely drowsy when you wake up.
A one-and-a-half-hour power nap is thorough and it seems to really recharge your bat-teries and is really refreshing. The fact is that 90 minutes is the length of a complete sleep cycle and gives the body time to rebuild. But do not sleep longer than 90 minutes, because then it is not a power nap and you risk messing up your circadian rhythm.
When is the best time to take a power nap?
If you power nap in the evening, there is a risk that your short snooze will conflict with your night’s sleep. This can effect your circadian rhythm and your body will mix up day and night. So be careful not to take it too late.
The setting for your power nap is also important for its success. Make sure you lie comfortably to get the most out of your power nap. Be aware that loud sounds, light or cold can prevent you from getting the very best nap. 18 degrees is the optimum temperature for a decent nap, and covering yourself with a warm blanket is perfect.