What Is A Power Nap and Is It Helpful

Power naps, could they change the way we sleep for forever?

Source: Fotolia © Maridav
Source: Fotolia © Maridav

A power nap is defined as one that is short enough so that it doesn’t allow you to enter the deep or REM stage of sleep. If you’re awakened during the REM stage of sleep, you’re usually groggy and even irritable since the body is working during this stage to repair and restore itself. Taking a short nap doesn’t allow you to enter this stage since the body typically needs thirty minutes to reach REM sleep. This shorter nap allows you to rest and awaken refreshed. There are a few ways to ensure that if you close your eyes during the day, you will only take a short nap and that it will be effective for you.

One is to find a quiet and dark place for your nap. Light and sound are both very distracting and you may not be able to sleep with interruptions. If you’re taking a power nap at work, it may be helpful to head out to your car so you don’t have a phone ringing or other sounds. You can purchase a sleep mask for over your eyes to block out light and earplugs to block out even more sound. If you are going to sleep in your office, be sure to turn out the lights and turn off your phone so you’re not disturbed.

Some find that a caffeine power nap is also very helpful. This is when you have some coffee right before you take a nap. This works to awaken you after twenty to thirty minutes because caffeine needs that much time to metabolize in the body and provide that jolt of energy you normally get from coffee. If you have a cup of coffee right before you nap, the warmth can also relax you and help put you to sleep, and the eventual caffeine hit will wake you up and get you moving again. Try this for yourself the next time you want to take a power nap and see if it’s not effective in getting you the sleep you need.