Should You Power Nap?
With the best will in the world, there will still be times when you don’t have the very best sleep and when all your sleeping strategies fail you. In those scenarios, what do you do? Well, one good strategy is just to try again later.
Remember when we compared your energy levels to those of your cat or dog? We said that the cat and dog were either active, or asleep – never anything in between. You can do the same thing yourself by sleeping throughout the day to catch up on some shuteye and many studies have shown that this can boost productivity, mood and more.
So how do you nap correctly? The secret is to time it correctly and specifically to aim to nap for around 90 minutes, not more and not less. This is important because of the way our body cycles through different stages of sleep (the body loves rhythms remember!). In 90 minutes you will go through one complete sleep cycle and will go from the lightest stage of sleep, to SWS (slow wave sleep) to REM. You’ll then be woken up just as you start to come around. On the other hand, you can sleep for 10-20 minutes in order to wake up before you go into the deeper stages of sleep and to avoid sleep inertia that way. 90 minutes is definitely better though, as dreaming is considered to be instrumental in helping us lay down new memories and boost our performance.