Who wouldn’t want to get all of the benefits of a power nap? Just look at this list…
• Improved mood
• Increased alertness
• Fewer mistakes and accidents
• Better logic and memory
• Decreased sleepiness
• Faster task completion
However, to make the power nap part of your workday, you will need to do some experimenting to avoid the dreaded sleep inertia or grogginess that can accompany a poorly-timed power nap.
You will need to work out your ideal nap duration. A power nap is intended to be 10 - 30 minutes of light sleep that helps your brain to refuel. Do not exceed 30 minutes or you will have entered the realm of deep sleep and struggle to wake up and focus. See what works for you by trialing power naps of different intervals between 10 and 30 minutes duration.
You will also need to work out when to take your nap. If you are working and have a sleep debt from the night before, you should take your nap earlier in the day around 10am. If you have had a good night’s sleep, you should take your nap in the afternoon, some time between 2 and 4pm when the urge to sleep is the strongest. Power naps should not interfere with your bedtime, but assist with your daytime productivity.
Finding the right location is also essential. Where are you likely to find uninterrupted light sleep? It may be in your car, under your desk or beneath a tree. Taking your nap in the same place, at the same time each day will help train your brain to fall asleep quickly and help you get the most out of your power nap.