How to Power Nap

There are plenty of books and advice on sleeping disorders and insomnia - here we look at sleep from the perspective of wanting to stay awake and effective for as much time as is possible

How to Power Nap

Postby OSmod » 14 Mar 2011 23:56

LENGTH
A good nap length is somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes. This gives the restorative benefits of sleep without the lethargy or grogginess — what sleep experts call “sleep drunkenness.” Naps as short as 1 to 2 minutes can be effective for some people.

ENVIRONMENT
Choose, as far as possible a comfortable quiet and dark place. If there’s lots of noise try using cotton wool balls or rubber ear plugs. You might also want to try using an airline style eye-mask to block out all light so that nothing disturbs your power nap.

SET AN ALARM
If you’re tired enough to take a nap, you will not magically wake up on your own accord. So set an alarm, both to avoid the grogginess of a long nap and to make sure you don’t sleep too long.

DON”T FEEL GUILTY
Napping is great for your health and productivity, napping will make you more productive and more alert after you wake up. No need to feel guilty

CALM THE MIND
Let go of all thoughts. As thoughts come into your mind, just repeat this gentle reminder to yourself: “Empty the mind!” You may want to switch over to a word of your choosing to focus on (mantra) that will help push out other thoughts.

EXPERIMENT TO AVOID GROGINESS
In most cases, if you sleep for less than 30 minutes you won’t enter deep sleep, and won't wake up felling groggy. But sleep is characterised by cycles of light and deep sleep, so if you do wake up in the middle of a deep sleep, you will probably feel groggy for 15 to 20 minutes. Try running cold water over your wrists or drinking a soda to wake yourself up. Experiment to see what works for you.

ROUTINE
Make your nap part of your body’s expected circadian rhythm. Just like you go to sleep and wake up at approximately the same time every day, you should get into the routine of taking regular naps.

NO SUBSTITUTE - BUT THEN THERE IS COFFEE!
"While a 20-minute nap is a good refresher, it will not make up for hours lost at night" Which is all very well, but not realistically achievable at sea. Caffeine takes 15 to 20 minutes to take effect - so try drinking your cup of coffee before taking a nap. Wake up refreshed from your nap loaded with a caffeine boost!

Clare (OSmod)
OSmod
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