Power Naps: For Higher Productivity
As first time parents, my wife and I have never felt more sleep deprived.
My wife gets excited when Vivi sleeps for a four our stretch without getting up. Vivi is usually up every two to three hour.
Since I’m up at the crack of dawn, Tina intervenes while I stay in bed. Although I’m not getting up out of bed, my sleep is still disrupted.
A poor night of sleep can leave your brain running like Windows 98, sluggish and slow.
Several studies have linked poor sleep to increased sugar and carbohydrate consumption.
When I’m tired, the last thing I feel like putting together to eat is a salad. The thought of cutting, chopping, and washing vegetables is far too laborious (maybe I’m dramatic but it’s a pain in the glutes). In the kitchen I’m looking to take the path of least resistance. That usually means something like pizza or ice cream.
For that reason we try to prepare food in advance over the weekend. That way we know what we’re eating and don’t have to think about it.
Instead of drinking your usual mid afternoon Iced Grande Vanilla Latte With soy milk and an extra shot of espresso with a cherry on top try taking a nap.
The latest research suggests that a power nap is exactly what you need to battle the afternoon slump.
Did you know that naps can improve stamina and motor skills, and enhance creativity?
In fact, Dr. Sara C. Mednick, author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life and Assistant Professor of Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside says,
“…without a midday rest, we are not able to perform at optimal levels throughout the day. In fact, our performance falls apart. Napping maintains and even boosts our skills.”
Sneaking away from your daily tasks into your bed may not be practical. But if you have a car, you have a bed on wheels.
If you ever see me knocked out over the steering wheel, please do not disturb.
How To Power Nap Like A Pro
Set your alarm clock for 15-30 minutes. If you sleep longer than 30 minutes, you’re left feeling sluggish and tired. According to NASA researchers, a 30 minute snooze can improve cognitive abilities by 40%
Keeping your nap at 30 minutes or less will also prevent you from being overly groggy upon waking.
Tips to have a successful power nap:
The ideal time for napping is between one and three in the afternoon, or approximately eight hours after waking in the morning.
Darkness tells your brain to produce melatonin, which helps you fall asleep. Can’t darken your room? try a sleep mask.
After the last few days, I know it’s hard to believe, but your core temperature drops while you sleep. Keep a light blanket nearby to stay warm.
If you’re sensitive to noise while you sleep, turn on a fan or white noise machine. I’m sure there are a hundred white noise apps you can download on your phone or tablet.
Okay, I’m ready for a nap. I must of yawned a dozen times writing this. Did you just yawn?