Ahhh, the nap. If you partake in napping I’ll bet you don’t boast about it since our society typically views this refreshing break as either something that only children need, a waste of time, and even laziness. Not true! There’s legitimate value in taking naps and many people across the world have been doing it since the beginning of time.
We’ve all heard that people in Latin America close their businesses for two to four hours for the afternoon siesta. This is typically when most folks experience an energy dip, between 1 and 4pm. Many other countries including India, parts of Africa, China, Greece, Italy and Bangladesh take rests too. And power-napping salons are popping up in New York, Tokyo, and some International airports to reinvigorate businesspeople and tourists alike. As a result of the acceptance that the afternoon nap is gaining in the American culture, more companies are encouraging their employees to take a rest by providing nap rooms.
What Napping Provides
- A mini-nap of 6-minutes will offer a boost to your memory
- Short naps of 10-20 minutes will enhance concentration, alertness, confidence, and mood. It can also stave off the negative effects of lost sleep the night before
- A 60-minute nap will help cognitive memory and information processing, thought there may be some grogginess upon waking
- A 90-minute nap usually takes you through a slow-wave full sleep cycle, enhancing creativity and emotional and skill memory, such as learning Kettlebell Swings. The REM sleep of the 75-90 minute nap usually reduces the waking brain fog
- Improved heart health and reduced cardiovascular events
- Reduction in stress levels
- Improved immune function
Fixes for Post-Nap Brain Fog
Some folks can’t nap or have tried but awake with fog-brain. If this is your experience, limit the time to 20 minutes maximum to avoid REM sleep.Any or all of these will also work:
- As soon as you wake, get as much bright light as possible
- Place a mint in your mouth, spearmint or peppermint will stimulate your brain
- Splash some water on your face
- Adjust nap duration
- Don’t worry about going into sleep mode, sometimes just sitting and emptying the mind, focusing on nothing, is enough to gain a refreshing energy boost and mental clarity
- Have coffee before the nap
- Try to recline or lie down. The quality of your nap will be better while supine
- Create a dark space by closing blinds and wearing an eye shield if necessary
- Wear ear plugs if necessary
- Set your alarm
- Enjoy the benefits and don’t feel guilty!