Napping: your healthy productivity and focus fix
For years napping has been viewed as sleeping’s idle little sibling and has been stigmatised as unproductive and lazy. Recently however, it has gained a newfound respect and thanks to more scientific research and studies, that early afternoon snooze could be the answer to our focus and productivity prayers.
A lot of the big companies are now endorsing napping in the workplace with The Huffington Post, Google and Uber being some of the main game changers. Studies have found a 10 minute nap to yield immediate results in terms of vigor, cognitive performance and combating fatigue with improvements lasting as long as 155 minutes . For those feeling lethargic and low on energy a nap could be the healthier and more beneficial alternative to the caffeine, sugar and energy drinks we find ourselves reaching for come 3pm.
Achieving the perfect nap however does take some planning:
- Get the psychology right — by napping you are not being lazy; it will make you more productive and more alert
- Nap in the early afternoon — due to our circadian rhythm, napping late afternoon means we are more likely to fall into a deep wave sleep which will leave you feeling groggy upon waking
- Find the perfect nap spot — clean, quiet and dark
- Get the timing right — set your alarm for your desired duration (see the above chart for the best nap type)
- Grab yourself a nappuccino — If you’re really struggling have a caffeinated drink before you start your nap. Because caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, drinking a cup before your nap means it will start to work as you wake up
For some people however, napping isn’t always the best option. If you have difficulty sleeping at night, napping in the day will only further increase your problems. Equally if you aren’t a very good napper (you have trouble falling asleep, you wake up feeling groggy etc.) it may be an idea to skip the afternoon snooze and ensure you are getting enough sleep through your regular sleep routine.