The quick reason for taking a short nap during the day (30 minutes or less) is that it promotes wakefulness, enhances performance and improves learning ability. Napping for as little as 10 minutes has been shown to improve performance overall. Studies also show that taking longer and more frequent naps may lead to adverse health effects – so it’s best to keep naps short.
Taking a mid-day nap is a perfect way to rejuvenate your mind and body. There are four stages of sleep, to get the benefits of “power nap” you want to awaken before Stage 3 (prior to 30 minutes). Here are the stages below:
In Stage 1 slow eye movement begins. If you wake up during this stage you sometimes won’t even know you fell asleep.
When transitioning to Stage 2 your brain begins to ignore outside stimulus that it deems non-dangerous in order to relax you and allow for a more tranquil sleep. Memory consolidation begins to take place – meaning information you learned is processed.
It has been shown that waking out of these first two stages has been linked to:
- Cognitive Function
- Being Less Tired
Beyond Stage 2 (after 30 minutes) you enter Stage 3 – known as “Deep Sleep & Sleep Inertia.” When you wake your body from a deep sleep your motor dexterity decreases and grogginess increases – your body has a desire to go back to sleep.
People that claim naps are not beneficial usually nap for too long. Try setting an alarm and experimenting to find your perfect nap time – it’ll most likely be between 10 – 30 minutes.