Feeling sleepy while working? You’re not alone in this situation. Today, employers recognize the need for a power nap as an efficient way to stimulate both focus and efficiency. Some even embraced it by arranging office layouts and schedules for employees to take a quick nap. But the question is, when am I supposed to take a nap? How long am I supposed to nap? Well, think no more, here is our guide to plan out your perfect nap at work so that you enjoy a more productive day ahead.
How long should a nap be?
The amount of time you spend napping depends entirely on the time you have available and how you want to nap during your break hour. Keep in mind that, the longer your naps are, that means it will take longer for you to fall asleep at night. Naps can be categorised in three different ways:
- Planned napping(also known as preparatory napping) involves taking a nap before you actually feel sleepy. You may utilise this method when you know that you will be up later than your usual bedtime or as a mechanism to ward off getting tired early.
- Emergency napping occurs when you feel very tired and cannot continue to work. This type of nap can be used to reduce the effects of drowsiness and fatigue while you are doing heavy work.
- Habitual napping is practised when an individual takes a nap at the same time each day where adults might take a short nap after lunch daily.
Power Nap: 10 to 20 minutes
This power nap is ideal for a boost in alertness and energy. This length usually limits you to the lighter stages of non-rapid eye movement(NREM) sleep, making it easier to hit the ground running after waking up.
Grogginess Nap: 30 minutes
Some studies show sleeping this long may cause sleep inertia, a hangover like groggy feeling that lasts for up to 30 minutes after waking up, before the nap’s restorative benefits become more apparent.
Short-term Nap: 60 minutes
This nap is best for improvement in remembering facts, faces, and names. It includes slow-wave sleep, the deepest type. The downside; some grogginess upon waking up. It may not even be worth taking a nap at all if you’re going to nap for an hour because you will likely come out of your shuteye feeling less alert than before.
Rapid Eye Movement(REM) Nap: 90 minutes
This is a full sleep cycle, meaning lighter and deeper stages, including rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, typically like a dreaming stage. This leads to enhanced mental spatial memory (i.e. riding a bike, playing the piano) and creativity. A nap of this length usually prevents sleep inertia, rendering it easier to wake up. A 90-minute nap is also known to enhance creativity, emotional and procedural memory, such as learning new skills.
Where to Nap?
Find a space that’s relatively quiet and private so that you won’t be interrupted during your nap. In a parked car, under a desk, lying on a couch or anywhere else that is comfortable. Try to avoid a deep sleep, it’s best to sit slightly upright while napping.
Reducing the Sleep Deficit
Sleep deprivation can lead to fuzzy-headedness, irritability and fatigue. The condition will get much worse, such as increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, memory loss and weight gain. If you are sleep-deprived, taking naps is necessary. Napping for at least an hour can help to supplement hours missed during your sleeping time. That being said, naps can affect your ability to sleep at night and disrupt your sleep schedule. If you are finding it difficult to get sufficient sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea, consider discussing the problem with your clinician. Try to avoid getting caffeine past noon and any heavy meals two hours before your bedtime. Most importantly, exercise regularly but not before three hours before bedtime.
How do you optimise your nap time? Leave us your thoughts on the comment sections below. Head over to Jobstore.com and unveil your next job opportunity.
You Jing is a content writer who writes career and lifestyle contents to inspire job seekers and employers alike on their journey to work-life balance, empowerment and transformation in their career path.
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