Did you know?
Drinking a coffee before you take a nap is effective to rebound your energy levels.
As sleep deprivation problems continue to worsen, scientists are becoming more interested in the relationship between naps and performance. Fortunately, from those researches, we can learn the right way to nap to increase wakefulness and our general wellbeing!
Choose the right timing. The best time for a nap is usually the afternoon, when most people experience energy dips and find it harder to focus. Research shows that an afternoon nap can significantly boost your learning capacity, making it easier to acquire and remember information. If you find yourself feeling tired around the 3PM mark, and you can manage it with your work schedule, napping for 20 minutes is one of the best things you can do for your brain.
Set an alarm. If you’ve ever woken up from a 3-hour daytime snooze feeling like a confused time-traveller in a strange land, you already know that sleeping for extended blocks during the day is not ideal. Research suggests that this is due to the way your body cycles through different stages of sleep. Shorter naps—under 20 minutes or so—make it less likely for you to go beyond the first two stages of sleep. You will get into the slow-wave sleep territory beyond that, which makes it harder to wake up and leaves you feeling groggy for hours afterward.
Get in the napping zone as much as you can. If you’re not one of the lucky few working for a company that gives employees access to nap rooms like Google or Uber, simulate a peaceful sleep environment as best as you can. If you have your own office, turn off the lights or wear a sleep mask, and use earplugs or headphones to block out external noise. Lie down if it’s possible.
Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up for prioritising napping in your daily schedule. The benefits of a properly timed nap are well-documented—so, science is totally on your side! Start introducing regular naps into your life and you may thrive from increased productivity!
But keep in mind that naps aren’t a long-term solution to chronic sleep deprivation. A nap after a night of poor sleep will certainly help, but no amount of napping will make up for not getting enough sleep at night on a regular basis.