The truth about naps

Monday, March 14, 2016

naps

Who’s ready for a nap? Did you know there is a National Napping Day, in the United States?

Let’s talk the truth about naps.

Research shows that taking naps can reduce stress and fight fatigue. A short nap can improve performance, alertness, and can help increase your ability to stay awake longer, if necessary.

Some tips for proper napping:

  1. Nap in the afternoon, if choosing to do so
  1. Timing is important; there are many resources out there, but 10-30 minutes seems to be the best length of time to nap and still enhance instead of harm performance later
  1. Set an alarm- no one wants to worry about waking up from a nap in time, so just set an alarm and stick to it
  1. Night shift workers (that’s me!) should anticipate their first night shift with a midday nap to help enhance wakefulness over the next 12-24 hours
  2. Don’t lose sleep at night! Insomniacs should not depend on napping during the day. This will not help the night time sleep cycle

A caffeinated beverage can also help increase wakefulness. Some resources suggest a “caffeine nap”. This includes drinking something caffeinated BEFORE taking a nap, since caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in. This definitely doesn’t work for everyone.

Discuss your nap strategy with your doctor. It’s very individualized and dependent on your work/lifestyle balance.

Happy Napping all!

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