On an average, an adult needs from seven to nine hours sleep per night. But, most people don’t sleep more than six hours. During the day, the arisen lack of sleep leads to concentration problems and tiredness. Research results prove that already a siesta of 10 to 20 minutes might be enough to increase attention and concentration.
Short breaks enable the brain to recover and to better process information afterwards. Without sinking into a phase of deep sleep the body gets the possibility to recover during a power nap. But be cautious and never take a nap longer than 30 minutes! If you do so, it is very likely that you feel tired and subdued after waking up. After 30 minutes you will fall into deep sleep and returning to productivity will be hard.
During lunch time our circulatory is instable, hence mistakes happen easier. This makes a power nap at lunch time very reasonable, like studies prove. In these studies, participants had to take a nap between 1.00 and 2.00 p.m., regardless of having eaten a lot or not.
According to Jürgen Zulley, sleeping expert and professor for biologic psychology at the University of Regensburg, Germany, it is possible that for an increase in performance no real sleep is necessary during power napping. It is possible, that the resting effect arises due to the break and not due to sleeping. He believes that closing the eyes for 20 minutes and doing nothing is enough. Not only everyday stress but also inner blockages are going to hinder regular relaxation since a nap or a break in between often is considered to be a sign of weakness.
In Japan and in many other parts of Asia, a nap in public is very common. Meanwhile, more and more people in western countries realize how restful and efficient a properly performed power nap might be.
Several studies proved the positive effect of a power nap on us human beings:
- Short sleep positively influences short-term-memory.
- It enhances performance.
- The weight is reduced. Tired people have more appetite for fatty and sweet food.
- Protects from heart diseases. Regularly taking a lunch time nap reduces the risk of an infarction by 37 %.
- Creates a good mood. When having too few sleep one is having a bad temper. A nap increases the concentration of the “happy hormone” serotonin and has a positive effect on our mood.
- Prevents exhaustion.
It is clear that a power nap can’t substitute night-time sleep. A power nap is too short for all regenerative and learning processes that happen during night-time sleep but it certainly fulfils many valuable and helpful tasks.
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This post is also available in / Diesen Beitrag gibt es auch in: German