Let’s face it. Hardly anyone seems to be able to get the eight or more hours of sleep a night most physician’s recommend. What are we to do?
A lot of people slog off to work sleep deprived. Do the Starbuck’s run. Or drink 2 or 3 cups from the easily accessible coffee pot at the office. Or they wake up early to go exercise and have the endorphin rush that lasts for awhile, but quickly disappears by lunchtime.
Actually right after lunch is one of the best time’s to power nap.
It has been suggested that eating foods high in calcium and protein help promote sleep as well. So your lunchtime meal might include any type of dairy product such as cottage cheese or pudding.
Conversely, you will want to stay away from any dairy products if your goal is to stay awake.
The perfect amount of time for a power nap is 20 minutes. This gives you the most benefit of power napping without feeling groggy, which usually occurs with a 30 minute or longer nap.
Longer naps do work for some people and it is just a matter of finding our what your natural circadian rhythm is.
I’ve found a two hour nap to be almost perfect for me. Anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours I do tend to feel groggy, but for some reason, if I nap for about two hours I tend not to feel groggy. I feel very much refreshed and ready to continue with my day.
Power naps can be especially useful for anyone that does shift work. Especially those that work 10-12 hour shifts. For awhile I had a 3am – 11am shift. I used to sleep from 10pm to 2am. Then again from about 12pm to 4pm. This allowed me to still enjoy my evening with friends and have a more natural sleeping pattern. I was naturally tired in the afternoon anyway and power napping then just worked for me.
Again, I basically slept a double 2 hour nap which worked great with my natural circadian rhythm. Some people may benefit more from a 90 minute or 3 hour nap. Each person needs to experiment with naps to see when they feel most groggy.
If anything, it is important to know that power napping isn’t for lazy people. It is an important function for life. And many cultures have celebrated and embraced the idea of a midday nap. Just think of the siesta.
However you power nap, it is important to realize that sleep and rest are things that everyone needs. Paying attention to how much sleep you are getting will help you perform better in every area of your life. And power napping may just be to ticket for you to stay your most alert, capable self.