Want to re-boot your brain in minutes? There’s nothing like a power nap for an energy boost and getting a few minutes of shut eye.
But why do some snoozing sessions leave you feeling groggy, while others invigorate you? Find out here how long the ideal power nap should be.
The Perk-Me-Up (10-20 Mins)
For a quick power-up, experts say catnaps are adequate for getting back to work in a pinch. This duration usually limits you to lighter stage two non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, which enhances alertness and concentration, elevates mood and sharpens motor skills. It also makes it easier to hit the ground running after you wake up.
The Slow-Starter (30 to 45 Mins)
NASA researchers believe that a 30-minute power nap increased thinking power by approximately 40%. But some studies show sleeping this long may cause sleep inertia – a groggy feeling that lasts up to 30 minutes after waking up – before the nap’s restorative benefits become apparent to you.
The Memory Booster (60 Mins)
A 60-minute nap can improve alertness for up to 10 hours, say researchers. This nap includes slow-wave sleep (the deepest type), and is best for enhancing memory recall of facts, names and faces. Try this after lunch if you foresee the need to work till late.
The All-Rounder (90 Mins)
This is a full cycle of sleep, meaning it has lighter and deeper stages, leading to improved emotional and procedural memory (needed for riding a bike or playing the piano), and creativity. A nap of this length helps to clear your mind and recoup lost sleep – and typically makes waking up easier!
Before you head for your pillow, find more great sleep tips here.
By Candy Lim, Singapore Women’s Weekly, March 2014