31 May Let’s take a nap!
There are times during the day when you may feel a nap will be the one thing to get you through to 5PM. Most of us will crash in energy levels as the afternoon slump hits around 2 or 3pm. Indulging in what is known as a “power nap” may help us revitalise and remain productive throughout the afternoon. Some companies such as Google have “nap pods” and actively encourage employees to take a break.
So for how long should you nap? Believe it or not, the ideal duration of a nap that could boost your memory, alertness, creativity and productivity is between 20-30 minutes. Even NASA recommends a 26min nap for their pilots! Any longer and you will enter a deeper stage of sleep, which can be harder to wake from and afterwards you may feel “groggy”.
Another interesting question is are we able to take several naps to make up for not getting enough sleep at night? According to one of Australia’s leading neuroscientist’s, Dr Fiona Kerry, the answer is no. The importance of a five or six hour long sleep at night is that it allows the frontal lobe to power down in REM, which cleans and maintains the brain. Research has shown that the cleaning process of the brain that occurs during sleep may remove the sticky plaque from neurons in the brain that could be linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
So go ahead, take that 20 minute nap so that you can clean your inbox of short-term memoires and wake up feeling refreshed and more alert.