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The power of napping

The power of napping

Why nap during a day?

You can associate napping with laziness, calm afternoon and after-lunch idleness. You couldn’t be further from the truth. Nowadays, a short nap is considered to be the best way to fast and effective recuperation. Actually, not only nowadays, as benefits were derived from it a long time ago – Napoleon, Da Vinci, A. Einstein, T. Edison, J.D. Rockefeller and many other great minds of this world owe their mental fitness to a nap during a day.   

This is by far the most effective relaxation. To take a nap, all you need is 20 minutes. Even if you are dead tired after a hard day of work, such a short sleep will give you a big “kick” and energy for the next few hours of work. You will be able to concentrate better and your senses will grow sharper.

It has been scientifically proven that regular napping significantly lowers levels of coristol (stress hormone) in the body, and thus we feel much better throughout the day. Since I started taking a nap, I have become much less nervous and more often happy and full of positive energy.

If you are in the course of learning to an exam, naps will greatly affect the performance of your memory and remembering. During sleep, there is the consolidation of memory traces. So, what you have learned will be strongly consolidated in your brain. Mental fitness that is recovered during such rest will make it much easier to acquire the material after a nap.

Naps during a day have beneficial impact on health. In addition to lowering levels of cortisol, as already mentioned earlier (stress is the cause if many diseases), a short rest during a day reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke or developing diabetes. What is more, a nap can be used as a substitute for products such as coffee, energy drinks – which also give energy, but have destructive impact on health.

Contrary to what some people think, a nap definitely does not negatively affect sleeping at night. On the contrary, it allows a better night’s sleep later. It is worth-remembering not to take a nap 3 hours before bedtime.

So how to effectively nap?

Naps should not take longer than 30 minutes. After this period, from REM phase ( Rapid-Eye Movement, phase in which we have dreams) our body prepares to enter deep sleep phase. So when we wake up after sleeping for more than 30 minutes, we will wake up very tired and returning to good form will take several minutes. Sleeping less that that will make us sure that we will wake up full of energy and ready to work immediately.

On account of the above, it is useful to set the alarm clock. The optimum time to nap is about 20 minutes. It can vary depending on the lifestyle, so try different options and determine which is best for you. After a while, when you get yourself into the habit of short naps, you will not need an alarm clock. If you lack free 20 minutes, even a 5-10 minute nap has surprisingly large benefits in overcoming drowsiness.

Make sure that during the time devoted to napping nobody will disturb you. If there are noises around you, which you can not control, turn on a quiet relaxing music. Such music often even helps to fall asleep and provides a nice nap. It is also worth to remember about a slightly dimmed room.

In order to quickly fall asleep and not waste time lying awake, you can do some visualization exercise that will help you fall asleep. You can also focus on your breath or count backwards from 20 at the same time visualizing each number. Clear focus on an object and continuous visualization of it is a good way as well. If you are not able to focus your thoughts – just easily come back to the object of your visualization.

The body temperature drops during sleep so remember to cover yourself with a blanket or just dress a little warmer.


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