Usually taken during the day, a nap is a short sleep that replenishes your energy levels and enhances productivity. However, you must nap for an ideal amount of time to gain the benefits.
In this post, you’ll learn about different types of naps and the ways in which you can gain maximum benefit from them.
Benefits of Napping
After a long day of work, we all love a good nap that leaves us energized and ready to tackle more problems. Here are a few benefits of taking a nap:
- Improves brain function: cognition, accuracy, focus
- Enhances creativity
- Improves critical thinking
- Revitalizes your physical energy
- Lowers stress and anxiety
Types of Naps
Each type of nap serves a specific purpose. While some are designed to enhance productivity, others are designed to simply keep you awake for longer.
So when it comes to napping, you need to choose wisely and select the one that meets your time constraints and offers you the desired benefits.
Different categories of naps are provided below:
If you’re looking to work a little longer despite feeling lethargic and drowsy or simply looking to boost your energy level and focus, then take a 25 minute nap.
Often referred to as the power nap, it is considered best to enjoy it between 1-3 p.m.
Training for long periods of time can leave you enervated, but a well timed nap can make a huge difference in your performance.
This nap largely focuses on simply revitalizing your physical energy. These naps are usually between 15-20 minute long, but if you want metal rejuvenation, then a longer nap is recommended.
This is the classic style nap, in which you sleep for 90 minutes.
If you know that you need to wake up late at night, you can take a disco nap in the evening to replenish your energy levels and get ready for work or party.
Coffee naps, also known as caffeine naps, gained popularity in the last decade. By combining rest and caffeine, these naps make you feel active and focused.
Here’s how to take a coffee nap:
- Drink a 6-8 ounce cup of coffee. (This contains 90-100mg of caffeine)
- Lay down in a quiet place.
- Set a timer for 20 minutes and doze off.
When you wake up, caffeine would’ve kicked in. So you’ll not only get the immediate benefit of a nap but also feel the effects of caffeine hitting your bloodstream.
The New Mom Nap
If you’ve a newborn with you, you’re not likely to get much sleep at night. And even if you get enough sleep, its quality is low because of regular interruptions.
The new mom nap requires you to nap while the baby does. By synchronizing your nap time with that of the baby, you can get some sleep and wake up rejuvenated.
Shift Work Nap
Popularly used by shift workers, this nap style can now be employed by anyone working from home. This nap style provides you with more time and energy to work during the moments you’re awake.
So this is how it works:
- Sleep for only 4-5 hours at a time.
- Take two naps of 90 minutes each.
So your total sleep time will come out to 7-8 hours, but you’ll have more energy during the day. This isn’t an option if you’re working from the office, but if you’re working from home, then you can rely on this technique to boost your productivity.
Naps on the Basis of Time Duration
On the basis of time duration, you can divide naps into the following categories:
Mind Breaks (5-10 Minutes)
After working for some time, you can take a 5 to 10 minute nap to recharge your brain and gain your focus back. This nap style is especially useful for students.
Although these naps are too short, they’re perfect for anyone studying at a library.
Power Naps (10-30 minutes)
For power naps, NASA suggests that dozing off for 26 minutes is optimal. If it’s the day before your exam or you need to submit an assignment the next day, you can rely on power naps to keep you going all night long.
However, ensure that you take the nap while sitting down in a comfortable position, or you’ll risk drifting off to sleep.
Long Naps (45-60 minutes)
Long naps aren’t generally recommended. They may provide physical and cognitive benefits, but they often leave you in sleep inertia.
Sleep inertia is a state in which you’re cognitively impaired for at least an hour. Until your brain wakes up completely, you’ll feel the effects of sleep inertia and find it difficult to focus and solve problems.
Full Sleep Cycle (90 minutes)
One sleep cycle ends at 90 minutes. So if you sleep for 90 minutes, you can avoid sleep inertia and enjoy the benefits of a long nap.
You should rely on this nap style if you know that you'll stay up late at night.
How to Take the Perfect Nap
Select one of the aforementioned nap times, and follow the tips provided below to take the ideal nap and gain benefits such as repolished energy levels and restored cognitives abilities:
- Set an alarm: before taking a nap, set an alarm to avoid sleeping for longer than desired. If you sleep for too long, you can end up with sleep inertia.
- Select the perfect environment: a cool and comfortable environment relaxes the mind and helps you rejuvenate faster.
- Practice relaxation techniques: relaxation techniques calm your mind. You can rely on breathing techniques or grounding and gain more benefits.
- Listen to music: listening to music not only relaxes your mind but also shuts off the noise from your surroundings. If you don’t want to listen to music, you can rely on earplugs to drown out the noise.
You don’t require a nap mat. A reclined chair would do the work.
Nap time music recommendation:
We, at Sleepsia, don’t recommend cat naps. Instead, you should rely on one of the nap types mentioned in this post to gain maximum health benefits. And remember to set up an alarm, lest your nap turns into a complete sleep.