A Power Nap Can Actually Boost Your Productivity
July 23, 2021
On a long stressful day, what’s a better way to recharge than to take a quick power nap? Despite its known benefits, most of us feel guilty about adopting this unique productivity tool. However, even famous people like Einstein, Winston Churchill, JFK, and Leonardo da Vinci were all fans of the afternoon brain shut down.

So obviously it must not be a completely bad thing, right? In this article, we will cover the top benefits and some tips that can help you make the best out of this productivity practice.

cat taking a nap
Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

Benefits of Power Napping:

1. Reduces sleepiness:

It might not be possible for all of us to get a continuous 8–9 hours of sleep every day. A lot of times even if we do manage to get that sleep, we do not feel that refreshed in the morning. A quick power nap can help you overcome this energy downfall and rejuvenate you for the day ahead.

2. Improves memory and cognition:

Research shows that an afternoon nap can help you feel more rested and alert. Longer naps can also help in improving your memory and cognition. So, for example, if you are thinking of really stretching your day just before exams, that might not be useful for you. When you feel really tired and drowsy during the afternoon, taking a short nap might benefit you more.

3. Regulates emotions:

Remember feeling cranky due to lack of sleep and having a lot of tasks at hand? A quick power nap does a better job in this situation rather than having coffee. Having coffee or anything that can instantly boost your energy might actually worsen your mood. So don’t hesitate to invest those 10–20 minutes at least in order to feel better.

Power Napping Tips:

1. Nap at the right time and for the right duration:

For most people, the duration of 10–20 minutes works the best, typically known as the power nap. The reasoning lies in the sleep cycle. The more you increase the duration the worse you will feel after waking up from the nap. This is because they may wake up from a deeper stage of sleep, which occurs later in the cycle, and feel fuzzy-headed.

Also, try to take a nap in the early afternoon. Research shows a nap taken any time between 1:00 pm to 4:00 PM will coincide with one of the energy dips you feel throughout the day. Thus, it will not have a negative impact on your overall sleep cycle and you will maintain a fine balance of your sleep cycles.

2. You don’t need to fall asleep:

For a lot of people falling asleep doesn’t happen in the flip of a moment. It might take up to 14 minutes or even more to actually fall asleep. So don’t worry about it.

What actually matters is that you close your eyes and let your body and mind relax. Also napping is a skill you will be able to develop over a period of time as and how you practice.

3. Find the right place:

The quality of sleep or nap also depends on how comfortable you are in the sleeping position. So, it matters where you are sleeping and what your body posture is while sleeping.

Choose a place that has minimal noise and more comfort. You need not always be in bed to take a nap. A comfortable chair or just lying down on the desk can do an equally good job.

For most people sleeping adequately and taking rest when required helps them feel better and improve their productivity. Instead of avoiding napping altogether, doing it with certain things in mind can help you get the most out of it.

Are you a napper or a non-napper? Do let us know in the comments below!

FAQ: Power Napping

Q1: What is a power nap, and how long should it typically last?

A1: A power nap is a short nap, usually lasting 10 to 20 minutes, designed to boost alertness, mood, and cognitive performance without causing grogginess.

Q2: What are the benefits of power napping?

A2: Power napping offers various benefits, including increased alertness, improved mood, enhanced concentration, and a quick energy boost, making it a valuable strategy for increased productivity.

Q3: When is the best time to take a power nap?

A3: The ideal time for a power nap is during the afternoon, typically between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., when many people experience a natural dip in alertness and energy.

Q4: How can I make the most of my power nap?

A4: To maximize the benefits of a power nap, find a quiet, dark, and comfortable space, set an alarm to ensure it doesn't exceed 20 minutes, and relax your body and mind as much as possible.

Q5: Are there any potential drawbacks to power napping?

A5: Power napping is generally safe and beneficial, but taking longer naps can lead to grogginess, disrupt night time sleep, or indicate underlying sleep issues.

Q6: Can power napping replace a full night's sleep?

A6: No, power napping cannot replace a full night's sleep. While it can improve alertness, it's not a substitute for the restorative benefits of a complete sleep cycle.

Q7: How can employers or schools support power napping for their employees or students?

A7: Employers and schools can create designated nap areas, promote a culture of taking short breaks, and educate individuals on the benefits of power napping for enhanced productivity and well-being.

Q8: What are some tips for incorporating power napping into a daily routine?

A8: To incorporate power napping, schedule it during your daily afternoon slump, be consistent with the duration, and avoid caffeine or heavy meals before napping.

Power napping is a valuable tool for improving productivity, focus, and overall well-being, especially during the mid-afternoon energy dip. When done correctly, it can offer a quick and effective energy boost without interfering with night-time sleep.

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