Power naps have been around for thousands of years. Different cultures all around the world regular nap around midday.
Some cultures take midday naps very seriously, certain areas in Spain, for example, close their shop’s midday for a couple of hours. And mothers bring their children indoors for their ‘siesta’, especially when it gets too hot outside.
But napping isn’t only for when it’s too hot. I tried power napping for 30 days, and the results are surprising.
But before we look at what I found out. Let’s first look into why I considered taking power naps.
There were certain stressful periods in my life which affected my sleep, from exams to having a child. These unique experiences came with them a lot of unexpected fatigue and sleeplessness. Other times, I knew I would stay up late. So I decided to try power naps to make up for my lack of sleep.
Rules which I put in place
Sleeping for hours midday was tempting for me. But I’m sure my boss at work or the boss at home (my wife) wouldn’t be too pleased. So I decided to keep my naps between 10-20 minutes.
I had to find a suitable environment for my naps. A dark, quiet place with little or no distraction was ideal.
And finally, my naps had to be midday, as if I took them too late they would interfere with my nighttime sleep.
And the results are in
At first, it was difficult to sleep within 20 minutes. I would lay there and if I hadn’t fallen asleep within the period, I would get up and get on with my day. After a couple of failed attempts, I finally got the hang of it. I was then often taking power naps.
It was surprising to find out how much benefit I got from as little as 10 mins power nap.
My power naps reduced my sleepiness, which I used to feel during the day. Unlike coffee, it didn’t give me energy for a short period followed by a caffeine crash. Which then left me feeling tired and grumpy.
The biggest benefit I got from power naps was how elated I felt right after I woke up. This improved mood helps me be more productive.
This cheerful feeling also acts as a stress relief. Many times after a power nap, the stress which built up during the day vanishes.
Taking power napes has also helped me fall asleep quicker at night. If I’m not asleep within 20 mins, I get up and continue my day. This ‘sleep training’ has helped me reduce the time it takes for me to fall asleep at night. Now, at times, I can even fall asleep within 5 minutes!
Certain stressful events in my life were causing me sleep deprivation. So I decided to try the 30 power nap challenge to see what happened. After 30 days of napping, I found out that:
- Power naps reduced my sleepiness during the day
- I felt very cheerful after having a power nap
- This cheerful feeling helped me reduce stress and be more productive during the day
- It now takes a lot less time for me to fall asleep at night, sometimes as little as 5 minutes.