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Sleeping on the Job…Power naps… are they the future??..Japan seem to think so!! Learn how to power nap.
Taking a nap can often feel like you are rebooting your brain. Everyone enjoys a quick nap every now and then. It is coming to light that napping may be as much of an art as it is a science. The Wall Street Journal offers recommendations for planning your perfect nap, including how long to nap and when. The sleep experts in the article say a 10-to-20-minute power nap gives you a quick boost of alertness and is long enough for getting back to work quickly. Dr. Mednick said “for cognitive memory processing, however, a 60-minute nap may do more good. Including slow-wave sleep helps with remembering facts, places and faces. The downside: some grogginess upon waking”. Dr. Michael Breus says “If you take it longer than 30 minutes, you end up in deep sleep. Have you ever taken a nap and felt worse when you woke up? That’s what’s happening — you’re sleeping too long and you’re going into a stage of sleep that’s very difficult to get out of.”
“Finally, the 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity and emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia” Dr. Mednick said.
In addition to those recommendations, avoid caffeine after 3pm. It is a stimulant that can disrupt your sleep and stay in your system longer than you think, its half-life is four to six hours! If you sit slightly upright during your nap it will help you avoid a deep sleep. And if you find yourself dreaming during your power naps, it may be a sign you’re sleep deprived. If you don’t want to nap a long time, set an alarm.
If you don’t have time for a power nap, or don’t feel comfortable napping during the day you could try meditation, it relaxes you and gives your body a rest, it also helps slow down brain waves that is similar to sleep.