It’s been a long, trying day at work and you are anticipating packing up and going home any minute. Your eyes are cloudy and you just want to curl up and take a nap. Your mood takes a bigger nose dive when you realize it’s only 2 in the afternoon and you have four more hours before you can leave. There’s no way you’re going to be able to accomplish anything else today because you just can’t focus anymore.
Does this sound familiar?
Strangely enough, it turns out that a 15-30 minute power nap can not only increase stamina and motor skills, it can also boost creativity! According to studies by The Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, “without a midday rest, we are not able to perform at optimal levels throughout the day”.
I knew that I wasn’t meant to sit at a desk for 8+ hours and expect that I could be productive the whole time. Now, I know that science is behind me! Even NASA claims that a 30-minute nap could increase your cognitive faculties by about 40%!!
This doesn’t mean that you won’t be productive if you’re not napping but if you are experiencing fatigue, mood swings, lack of energy, motivation or drive during the day its probably because your sleep cycle is off, your meals are leaving you crashing with lows of sugar and or your caffeine intake is too high and thus leaving you dry after a few hours of no consumption.
Here’s the catch, though. There are some “rules” to get the best out of your nap time. First of all, power naps are short by definition. You will feel the most benefit if you limit it to between 15 and 30 minutes. If you go beyond 45 minutes, the reverse will happen and you can end up more groggy than before your nap.
Regardless of your occupation and if you are able to take a 10 min break to just shut off your phone, sit quietly, close your eyes, and relax it can make a big difference in your daily performance and production.
Secondly, research has shown that the best time for napping occurs about 8 hours after you wake…most people will find that napping between 1 pm and 3 pm will is the sweet spot. Third, keep the room quiet and as dark as possible. This makes it easier for you to relax wake up refreshed.
So, the next time you’re feeling a bit groggy, try tuning out the world for a short while and you’ll come back refreshed and ready to get back to business!
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