To sleep for a brief period, often during the day; doze.
Everyone knows how harmful sleep deprivation can be, Being overly tired on a regular basis can increase your chances of suffering chronic diseases or illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. Compare Your Naps. The Good, the bad and the ugly
Sleep deprivation can also put you at a greater risk of suffering from fatigue-related accidents (Cue – car crash!), experiencing bad moods, affecting personal relationships or suffering poorly in your job or career.
Caffeine, energy drinks or other stimulants and pick-me-up’s are not the answer. Sleeping medications are also not the way to go.
Napping, when done the right way, can actually improve your health and enhance mental and physical performance.
Napping can provide you with the following benefits:
- Improves Cognitive Function
- May Be Beneficial for Heart Health
- Helps Reduce Stress
- Helps reduce Anxiety
- Fights Food Cravings
- Can Help Improve Physical Performance
So let’s narrow it down just a little more. Compare Your Naps. The Good, the bad and the ugly.
“A short nap — somewhere between just five and 20 minutes — may give you an immediate “pick-me-up.” This type of short nap is thought to provide benefits of improved alertness for a limited period without leaving you feeling groggy.”
Several ex-presidents and famous artists used napping as a tool to boost productivity and improve overall work and creativity.
Short naps are thought to improve cardiovascular health and reduce stress. Napping can also be helpful with controlling Cortisol and other hormones related to stress.
Naps can be beneficial for producing improved cognitive performance for a longer period of time, sometimes up to several hours.
“Longer naps — those that last for more than 30 minutes — can produce a short-term impairment immediately after waking up due to “sleep inertia,”.
When you wake up feeling groggy, this affects your work and productivity. In fact, you will find yourself feeling more lethargic and less likely to return to work or your normal everyday activities.
For insomniacs, napping can be a problem as it will only prolong or aggravate their sleep issues.
“The 30-minute nap produced a period of impaired alertness and performance immediately after napping, If you frequently suffer from insomnia come bedtime, you’ll probably want to take your naps earlier in the day.”
Napping too late in the day can negatively affect your nighttime sleep. Napping can leave you with a feeling of lethargy, grogginess and disorientation. If you are an insomniac, think very carefully before taking a nap as this will affect any improvement on your night time sleep.
The key is to experiment. What works for me may not work for you. What works for you may not work for someone else.
After taking days off from my night shifts, I tend to wake up mid morning on my first night shift back. After a workout, grocery shopping and all of the other necessary daily tasks I like to go back for a mid arvo nap. I usually take 2-3 hours and that’s what works for me. I wake up with enough time to have a meal and get ready for work.
So, my best advice is to experiment. Try a short nap and see how you feel. Try a longer nap (like me) and assess your energy at the beginning of your shift and after the end of your day.
Keep a sleep diary for your napping to assess how you feel. You may feel more tired and lethargic. Maybe you feel more energised. You don’t want to feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. Take notes and compare them with each of your experiments.
*Sleep Inertia – Feeling groggy and disoriented after waking up from a nap.
*Nighttime sleep problems – Short naps may be effective for you but anything longer than 30 minutes can only aggravate insomnia.