Something that’s been with you since infancy.
While you may have gotten a bit older (hopefully a bit wiser), chances are good that many of you still nap.
What you may be surprised to learn is that not all naps are the same. They can vary in terms of length, intensity, and purpose.
Figuring out which style of nap is best for your desired goals can go a long way to helping you make the most of everyday and realizing your personal and professional goals.
Here are 5 nap strategies you need to know:
#1 The “Power” Nap
Leading things off is perhaps the most well-known nap (or most talked about among entrepreneurs “crushing it”) -- the power nap.
Power naps last about 20 minutes and help to eliminate feelings of grogginess that can set in after lunch all the while improving alertness and long-term memory.
Micro-naps typically last between 2-5 minutes and can be surprisingly effective at reducing feelings of sleepiness.
The nano-nap is the shortest sleep interval. It lasts all of 10-20 seconds.
You’ve probably experienced this for yourself sitting in the back of a BIO 101 class where your head droops down and almost immediately it springs back off.
Unfortunately, the nano-nap doesn’t have any research to back up its effectiveness, though it’s probably more helpful than scrolling through social media for the umpteenth time of the day.
#4 Coffee Nap
Coffee naps are pretty much what you expect -- have a cup of coffee (or other source of caffeine) immediately before laying down to nap.
While this seems a bit strange, there’s actually some research to show it may be beneficial.
Studies indicate combining caffeine plus a nap could combat afternoon sleepiness more effectively than napping alone. Note: the same study also found that combining face washing or blue light exposure + napping was also effective.
#5 Lazy Afternoon Nap
The “lazy afternoon” nap happens on those perfect days when you don’t have a care in the world -- you’re relaxing in bed, possibly watching an episode of Bob Ross & the Joy of Painting. You don’t plan to nap, but invariably, you have a “happy accident” and fall asleep.
This nap lasts far longer than the conventional 20-minute power nap…often lasting 60-90 minutes.
Obviously with longer duration, you can expect better benefits, including mental processing, muscle recovery, plus all of the benefits outlined above
We understand that not this “nap state” won’t always occur, and you can’t always plan for it, but when it happens, it can be phenomenal!
Benefits of Napping
Napping can reduce daytime sleepiness as well as enhance learning and performance.
For shift workers, naps are known to heighten alertness and improve reaction times. A
Naps can also help you achieve your daily sleep requirement (which is 7-9 hours per day for most adults). Getting enough sleep is essential to memory, learning, mood, productivity, recovery, athletic performance, and self-control.
Unfortunately, many individuals struggle to get enough quality sleep each and every night, which is one of the reasons we created our men’s and women’s nighttime relaxation and recovery aids -- Recharge PM and Beauty Dream.
Finally, one last tip to keep in mind is that if you are going to nap, make sure not to let it exceed two hours in length or take one too close to when you’ll be going to bed as this may impair your ability to go to sleep at night (and thus get a restful night’s rest).
- Hayashi M, Masuda A, Hori T. The alerting effects of caffeine, bright light and face washing after a short daytime nap. Clin Neurophysiol. 2003 Dec;114(12):2268-78. doi: 10.1016/s1388-2457(03)00255-4. PMID: 14652086.