Apparently so! A cluster of research over the past few years has demonstrated repeatedly that a short nap can massively improve your productivity. The world has become so convinced by the benefits of napping that a number of products have been developed to make the process that little bit easier whilst you’re at work (this being one of the more stylish, I’m sure you’ll agree). So what can a quick power nap give you?
We are designed to nap
Did you know that we’re actually designed to have short naps throughout the day rather than sleep in one long chunk during the night? Most other mammals have naps throughout the day (look at your cat, for example) and our bodies are designed to sleep in two intensive chunks from around 2am to 4am and 1pm and 3pm. The BBC report that there’s actually a lot of historical evidence of humans sleeping in two chunks and being active in the night. Cultures who work in naps or siestas as part of their day have been shown to have a lower rate of coronary heart disease. Greeks who nap three times a week have a 37% reduced rate of developing CHD.
How napping helps:
According to dailyinfographic.com’s napping infographic a quick nap can decrease daytime sleepiness by 10%, increase your ability to stay asleep through the night by 12% and decrease the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep by 14%. Immediately after the nap you’ll also experience increased stamina, alertness and a better mood. Your mental abilities will increase by 8% and the quality of your interactions should improve too!
The ultimate nap: a quick ten minutes
Research published in the journal of sleep has shown that the ideal nap time isn’t the traditional twenty minute power nap, but is in fact a short ten minute kip. A quote from Forbes summarises the results:
“The 5-minute nap produced few benefits in comparison with the no-nap control. The 10-minute nap produced immediate improvements in all outcome measures (including sleep latency, subjective sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance), with some of these benefits maintained for as long as 155 minutes. The 20-minute nap was associated with improvements emerging 35 minutes after napping and lasting up to 125 minutes after napping. The 30-minute nap produced a period of impaired alertness and performance immediately after napping, indicative of sleep inertia, followed by improvements lasting up to 155 minutes after the nap.”
So it seems that a quick nap half way through day could be the best thing for you. And if anyone tries to object remind them that Bill Clinton, Brahms, Churchill and even Einstein regularly napped throughout the day to enhance their performance, so if anyone’s expecting great output they can wait ten minutes whilst you have a quick kip!
By: +Matthew MossesBack to posts