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The Science of Power Naps - 2M views in YouTube

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More than 85% of mammalian species are polyphasic sleepers, this means - sleeping for short periods throughout the day. Humans are part of the minority of monophasic sleepers, meaning - our days are divided into two distinct periods, one for sleep and one for wakefulness. It is not clear as to why this is the natural sleep pattern of humans.

Young children and elderly persons nap as an example. Napping as well is a very important aspect of many cultures.

While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality night-time sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance. Nappers are in good company: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush are known to have valued an afternoon nap.

TYPES OF NAPS:

Naps can be typed in three different ways:

• Planned napping (also called preparatory napping) involves taking a nap before you actually get sleepy. You may use this technique when you know that you will be up later than your normal bed time or as a mechanism to ward off getting tired earlier.

• Emergency napping occurs when you are suddenly very tired and cannot continue with the activity you were originally engaged in. This type of nap can be used to combat drowsy driving or fatigue while using heavy and dangerous machinery.

• Habitual napping is practiced when a person takes a nap at the same time each day. Young children may fall asleep at about the same time each afternoon or an adult might take a short nap after lunch each day.

TIPS FOR NAPPING:

- A short nap is usually recommended (20-30 minutes) for short-term alertness. This type of nap provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with night-time sleep.

- Your sleep environment can greatly impact your ability to fall asleep. Make sure that you have a restful place to lie down and that the temperature in the room is comfortable. Try to limit the amount of noise heard and the extent of the light filtering in. While some studies have shown that just spending time in bed can be beneficial, it is better to try to catch some zzz’s while in bed.

- If you take a nap too late in the day, it might affect your night-time sleep patterns and make it difficult to fall asleep at your regular bedtime. If you try to take it too early in the day, your body may not be ready for more sleep.

BENEFITS OF NAPPING:

- Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.

- Naps can increase alertness in the period directly following the nap and may extend alertness a few hours later in the day.

- Scheduled napping has also been prescribed for those who are affected by narcolepsy.

- Napping has psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.

Integrate napping into your corporate culture today. Speak with a Corporate Living Representative and let your staff nap in the office and take their ZZZZZZZs in style.

Source: lifted from sleepfoundation.org, AsapScience

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