Whether you just want to relax for a few minutes or are genuinely sleep deprived, the perfect nap can be a solution to all your problems. Power naps provide relaxation, reduce fatigue, lead to increased alertness, improve mood and performance, and lead to a better memory and quicker response-time.
Like anything napping too has its drawbacks, like sleep inertia – that feeling where you find it difficult to drag yourself back to wakefulness, or night-time sleep disorders, but on the whole, medical experts agree that the benefits of efficiently managed napping far outweigh the cons.
With practice, napping can be inculcated into your daily routine as a beneficial exercise that leaves you fresh and more productive. The best way to take naps is to keep them short and sweet and at a fixed time every day. Aim for some shut-eye for anywhere between ten and thirty minutes-a-day.
*Warning* Longer naps than that will leave you feeling groggy. Mid-afternoon is the best time for naps, sometime around 2 or 3 pm, as people usually feel a drop in alertness after lunch. Also, it is less likely to interfere with your night-time sleep. Mark out a quiet, dark corner of the office for your daily power nap. A comfortable room temperature will induce better sleep.
After napping, allow 10-15 minutes to resume normal activity and alertness levels. A quick pick-me-up such as tea or coffee helps to enhance brain activity.
The need for napping can also be a warning signal. Medics advise that if you frequently feel the need to doze off without any significant change to your routine, or any obvious cause for fatigue, it is best to seek the help of your physician… Or bed.