What do you think of when you hear the word “nap?” Unfortunately, the word has developed a negative connotation for some—being associated with laziness or a lack of work ethic. But the truth is, there’s no reason to be afraid of the almighty nap at all. In fact, studies show that we should probably be napping more.
Today, we’re exploring the art power naps, a practice that might just be the thing you’re missing to have a productive second half of your day.
What do the experts say?
Experts agree—a well-timed power nap can work wonders for your energy levels and cognitive function. Dr. Sara Mednick, sleep expert, author, and professor of cognitive science at UC Irvine, suggests that a nap of just 10 minutes can reduce stress and improve alertness and performance without the grogginess that sometimes follows longer naps. But if you have the time available, napping for 20 – 30 minutes offers the biggest bang for your buck in terms of boosted energy and enhanced alertness.
What are the benefits of power napping?
A power nap can be your secret weapon against the mid-afternoon slump. It helps refresh your mind, making you more alert and better able to focus on the tasks at hand. Think of it as a recharge for your brain's batteries.
Ever noticed how a short nap can transform your outlook on the day? Napping has been linked to improved mood and decreased feelings of irritability and stress. It's like a mini vacation for your mind.
Studies suggest that napping can significantly increase your memory and learning abilities, ensuring that important information is retained and easily accessible.
Your brain doesn't stop working during a nap—it's busy forming connections and solving problems. Many creatives, including famous thinkers like Salvador Dali and Thomas Edison, were known to be avid nappers and often attributed their creative bursts to these short breaks.
Tips for the Perfect Power Nap
- Find the Sweet Spot – Aim for a nap lasting anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. This ensures you reap the benefits without diving into the deeper stages of sleep, which can lead to that midday grogginess you want to avoid.
- Timing is Everything – The ideal time for a power nap will vary depending on your sleep cycle. For those who rise with the sun, the ideal nap time is generally between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM…when that post-lunch dip in alertness kicks in.
However, if you're an early morning person or a night owl, your ideal nap time could be as early as 10:00 AM or as late as 5:00 PM. Here’s a good rule of thumb—whatever time of day you find yourself reaching for an energy drink or iced coffee is likely the time you should be thinking about that power nap.
- Create a Comfortable Nap Environment – Try to create a nap space that is conducive to relaxation. Whether you’re napping at home in your own bed or grabbing a few zzz’s in the office, our premium bedding and cozy throws can transform your space into a comfy retreat, allowing you to get good rest as you nap.
- Set an Alarm – Avoid the risk of oversleeping by setting a gentle alarm. This prevents your nap from turning into a full-blown sleep session and leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day.
- Mindful Awakening – When your alarm sounds, take a moment to stretch and gradually ease back into wakefulness. Jumping up immediately can counteract the positive effects of your power nap.
- Stay Hydrated – As a general rule, drinking plenty of water is always a good idea, and it turns out that dehydration can increase feelings of fatigue. Have a small glass of water before your nap to stay refreshed and energized.
In a world that often glorifies hustle and constant activity, taking a moment for a power nap might feel like a rebellious act of self-care. At Double Stitch, we understand the importance of embracing those moments of rest, and we believe in the power of a well-deserved nap. Your body and mind will thank you, and you'll wake up ready to conquer the rest of your day.
Sweet dreams, and happy napping!