A power nap is a short nap that is between ten to twenty minutes. Since the purpose of a power nap is to wake up before the brain enters a deeper sleep, it is crucial not to go over thirty minutes. If this occurs, one will wake up even more tired than before. Here is a look at some of the many health benefits that power napping offers.
Boost Alertness And Productivity
The main advantage for power napping is that it promotes alertness, which increases productivity and even improves reaction time in all activities. A nap as short as six minutes long can also reduce fatigue and even assist in one’s overall ability to learning. NASA has even begun using power naps during their regular work days. They allow pilots to nap for twenty-five minutes each day and have found its lead to a better performance and alertness while on the job. For people that work long hours, power naps are an even better option than caffeine. This is because caffeine wears off after a while and leads to a crash of energy, whereas a power nap provides a continued boost to alertness and productivity.
Improves Memory And Creativity
A power nap is known to sufficiently promote declarative memory performance. It is known that sleep improves memory over time. However, it has been proven that one can retain those memory-boosting benefits even with a very short sleep. Since the brain is never resting, even during these power naps, the brain’s hippocampus is consolidating all memories. The hippocampus plays a major role in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory. It is known that memory content, specifically information that was previously flagged as being of high importance, is itemized and given priority during memory consolidation while one is in asleep during a power nap.
Reverses The Damage Caused By Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation can cause a number of harmful effects on the body. It leads to higher risk of chronic health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Specifically, staying awake all night can cause hormonal damage that is not corrected until sleep time is regained. Sleep deprivation is dangerous to both your mental and physical health and can dramatically lower your quality of life. However, it is not required to sleep for a whole night to pay one’s sleep debt. Even a short nap can help to alleviate most of the negative short-term side effects of lack of sleep such as irritability, lack of coordination and sleepiness.
Fights The Effects Of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be extremely dangerous and is most often a sign of other more serious health conditions, like heart disease and stroke. It often causes serious fatigue and only occurs whenever the individual slips into deep sleep. Power naps solve both of those problems as it restores wakefulness, reduces fatigue and ends before deep sleep occurs. It is recommended that those suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea take power naps often to ease the symptoms.