Perfecting the Power Nap

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Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites...

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UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020

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Whether you’re nodding off during the afternoon slump at the office, working a double or a night shift, or fighting drowsiness while driving, a power nap can make you more alert and productive. A power nap is a short nap, usually between 10 and 20 minutes long, taken in the middle of the day to reinvigorate you for the next part of the day. If you are experiencing fatigue, a power nap could help set you in the right direction. Studies have suggested that napping may produce the same memory gains as a full night’s slumber and leads to improvements in mood, alertness, reaction time and attention.

How Long Should I Sleep?

An ideal nap is a short one. According to research, 10 to 20 minutes is best. When you sleep you pass through different stages of sleep, known together as a sleep cycle. These stages include light sleep, deep sleep, and rapid-eye-movement sleep, or REM sleep. Sleeping longer puts you into deeper stages of sleep, from which it’s harder to awaken. Napping for shorter periods of time is ideal because you get the maximum benefits with less grogginess. Not only do long naps make you groggy, but they can also make it difficult to fall asleep at night which can be detrimental to your overall sleep patterns.

Get the Most of Your Nap

Find a good place to nap. A dark, cool area is preferred. Turn off your mobile phone and any other potential distractions. If background noise is unavoidable and distracting put on headphones with relaxing music. If you drink caffeine, drink it right before your nap. This may sound counterproductive, but caffeine takes time to travel through your gastro-intestinal tract. By the time you have awoken from your 20-minute nap, the caffeine will have kicked in, and you will feel rested and energized.  Avoid this step if it is late in the afternoon as it can affect your ability to fall asleep in the evening. To wake yourself even more after you nap, follow up with physical activity such as doing a few jumping jacks, pushups or jogging in place. Washing your face or exposing yourself to bright light can help you wake up as well.

Sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing. You should be doing everything in your power to avoid feeling so tired in the morning. Getting the right amount of sleep can improve your overall health. Take steps to make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep each night, and you could save you money on your term life insurance policy. If you feel you aren’t getting enough rest, you may want to change your diet and exercise plan or seek medical advice as you might have sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.

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