Mixing work and sleep may sound like an oxymoron, but afternoon power napping is the new wellness trend revolutionising the work day. As major sleep enthusiasts, we’ve decided to save you some time and do the legwork to find out exactly how this whole mid-day sleeping thing works.
Firstly, what’s the science behind it?
Did you know napping is in our DNA? According to the National Sleep Foundation, 85% of mammal species take short naps throughout the day. Even our caveman ancestors had to nap in order to stay alert and survive.
Great! What are the benefits?
- Boost your memory up to 5x
- Lower risk of stroke and diabetes
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Increase productivity and alertness
- Help regulate hunger
- Repair skin cells faster
Sign me up! How do I do it?
Napping is a fine art – different nap lengths will give you different results, and napping too little or too much can cause grogginess.
20mins – The Sweet Spot
Perfect for a work siesta. A study done by NASA found that a 26-minute nap would improve performance by 34% and alertness by 54%. We also love that it’s called the “grumpy cat nap” because it will improve your mood.
30mins – Dangerzone
Important announcement: after your 20 minute nap, DON’T HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON! With just 10 more minutes of sleep, you will start to feel groggy. With any nap longer than 30 minutes, you run the risk of falling into REM sleep (read: dream sleep), which, when interrupted, can cause grogginess for up to 30 minutes after you wake up.
60mins – Memory Mastermind
This nap is best for increasing communication skills, focus, memory, faces and names. However, you will most likely feel groggy afterwards, so it’s ideal for a weekend instead of a packed work day.
1hr 30mins – Siesta
90 minutes is generally considered the time it takes to have a full sleep cycle, meaning you will most likely avoid sleep inertia. It will improve your emotional and procedural memory, as well as creativity.
Since many of us don’t have time for a full 90 minute nap during the work day (jealous if you do though!), we are going to focus on tips for that 20-minute sweet spot.
Tips & Tricks
- Drink coffee: Caffeine from coffee takes about 20 minutes to kick in and will aid in the timing of your nap by avoiding REM sleep and beating grogginess.
- Make it dark: Our bodies are wired to the sun so we need to trick our bodies into thinking it’s nighttime. Our 5 More Minutes Eyemask is incredibly soft and lightly cushioned to sit softly on your face and block out light for uninterrupted rest.
- Find peace and quiet: Utilise noise cancelling headphones, a white noise app or a meditation app
- Time it right: The magic hour is anywhere from 1:30 – 3:30PM (roughly the middle of your day.) The Health Ministry in Japan actually recommends that all working age people take a nap in the early afternoon. This was also Winston Churchill’s and Charles Darwin’s preferred nap time.
- Temperature control: Wrap yourself up in a thermo-regulating bamboo ettitude sheet or duvet to control your temperature and avoid cold hands and feet.
- Routine: It only takes 21 days to make a habit – time to get snoozing!