The Healthy Nap In Between

The short nap in between was still a matter of course for other generations, today unfortunately rather frowned upon. The advantages of a nap or a power nap are obvious.

Controlled sleep: What does power napping mean?

Powernapping is a kind of nap, only shorter. Sometimes we also talk about a minute’s sleep. The short sleep helps to rest briefly during the midday low in order to recharge body and mind with new energy. A whole branch of research is dealing with this break and unanimously advises for it. In German companies, awareness of the need for rest during the day is growing very slowly.

Why does man need sleep?

Between 12 and 14 o’clock we fall into a performance low, regardless of whether we have eaten or not. This is part of our biorhythm and the body shifts down a gear. People who regularly take a midday nap are more creative, attentive and productive in the second half of the day. Regular means at least three times a week. In addition, the probability of illness decreases, the cardiovascular system is strengthened, stress decreases and the risk of diabetes decreases.

How dangerous is it to be overtired?

Those who are overtired make mistakes. This can have fatal consequences when working on machines or in traffic. According to the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine, one in four road deaths is caused by microsleep. If you fall asleep for only three seconds at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour, you cover 83 meters, in which a lot can happen. A Powernap increases the reactivity and the efficiency increases after a Nickerchen by 35 per cent, as studies showed.

Does a Powernap have a positive effect on health?

A Powernap reduces stress, lifts the mood and strengthens the immune system. In the long run, this form of sleeping makes you fit, recovered and demonstrably less susceptible to disease. A nightly sleep deficit can easily be compensated by a short midday nap, which is especially important for young parents. In addition, the appetite for fatty foods decreases in people who have had a good night’s sleep. This in turn has a positive effect on body weight and well-being and prevents cardiovascular diseases.

Powernapping instructions step by step

At first, one looks for a comfortable place for a short nap. This can be anywhere: at home, in the office or at university. It should only be quiet. In university libraries you will find sofas, in the office there may be a retreat or if not, the office chair will do as well. Perhaps a quiet corner can be set up with colleagues in which telephones can be diverted between twelve and two o’clock. A small pillow and blanket increase the comfort of sleeping.

There are also inflatable cushions directly for power napping. If there is no other option, the desk top is sufficient for spontaneous sleep to put your head down. To dampen the background noise around you, you can listen to quiet music through headphones. You can also choose to hear the sound of the sea or other relaxing natural sounds found on YouTube, for example.

How long should power napping last?

The time specifications for how long the short sleep should last range from a minimum of five minutes to a maximum of half an hour, as otherwise there is a danger of entering the deep sleep phase. Waking up from REM sleep usually takes longer and the willingness to perform has to be restored with difficulty. Those who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation should also adhere to this schedule. Powernap professionals therefore give the following tip: The ideal time for a nap during the day is between ten and 20 minutes. Even if falling asleep does not work out at the beginning, it is still important to switch off as a preliminary stage to sleep and helps to make you feel fit. If you allow yourself more than an hour’s sleep during the day, your inner clock will be out of rhythm.

How can you learn fast power napping?

It takes a little practice until the body gets used to the short sleep phase and you can enjoy the short time with good sleep. Relaxation exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation (PME), autogenous training or yoga help you to rest and fall asleep as quickly as possible. At some point it is easy to organize short breaks at the right time with Power Napping. Visit usc.edu for more sleeping hacks.

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