Nap Your Way to the Top: Is Sleep the Secret to Success?
Whether you live an ultra-hectic lifestyle or enjoy a more modestly paced professional life, finding tools to give you an added boost of energy and focus will do wonders for your productivity. One of the most proven and effective means for maintaining a balance of clarity, focus, and energy can be found in sleep and power napping in particular.
Taking breaks during the day to recharge your battery via short naps will not only make you feel better and more rested, but the added dose of energy will also enable you to increase your level of productivity. A more productive day means better overall performance. Better performance means gaining more opportunities at work.
The science and psychology behind power naps includes a wide array of benefits. Those who add napping to their daily routine can experience:
• Improved mental clarity.
• Better memory performance.
• A boost to motor skills.
• Reduced stress.
All of the benefits of taking short naps during the day are dependent upon adhering to certain parameters for the most effective mid-day sleep. The conditions of your power nap should include the following to ensure the best results:
A power nap should be around 20-30 minutes. Shorter naps don’t afford you the recuperative advantages of a deeper sleep. Also, naps that are too long will actually cause drowsiness and decrease your alertness throughout the rest of the day.
A power nap should be taken during the middle of your work day; commonly between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to be most effective. Of course, this may not be feasible for people who work 9 to 5, unless you work from home or live near your place of work, so find a time that works best for you!
An effective power nap is one taken in a dark room, in a relaxed body position and with the proper temperature being observed. Being in a noisy and bright room, cramped in an unnatural and uncomfortable position, or napping in a cold place can rob you of the chance to get some therapeutic shut-eye.
Power Nap or Power Drink?
A common alternative to power napping is consuming caffeine — most commonly coffee or other energy beverages. While caffeine and other stimulants are often effective at increasing energy levels, memory impediments are likely. This causes you to be awake without the level of focus a short sleep can provide.
Remember to set an alarm you can trust to define your power nap session. Being able to relax enough to fall asleep is critical to the success of your power nap. In addition, setting an alarm gives you the comfort of knowing that you will not overshoot your desired wake time.