In our house, everyone is up by 5:45 AM on a usual weekday… if not earlier. And while the younger ones can usually get to bed by 9 PM, I’m almost always up until after 10 or 11 – doing herbal study, office work, writing, or something else business and work related. I’m sure this is pretty regular for most people, but growing up, bedtime was always 8:30 or 9:00 for me – even until I was 16 or 17! So 6 hours later when the alarm clock goes off, I sometimes find it difficult to climb out of bed and begin the new day!
This post isn’t really about me though, because (1) I’m a morning person for the most part, and (2) not a usual nap-taker… not that I wouldn’t like to take a nap, but can’t! I’ll lay there thinking about all the things I really should complete before I can relax and fall asleep… and later on when it’s bedtime I’ll be awake for 4 extra hours trying to get sleepy ;-). Somehow that doesn’t add up on my schedule as a health benefactor or time-saver…
However, there are benefits to taking a power nap! In fact, it’s not an unusual occurrence on a given work day, to find my dad on the couch in his office, door shut, lights turned off… he even has his own little series of signs to hang on the outside that tell if he is tied up – “Webinar”, “Phone Call”, and “Power Nap” included :-). How fun is that?
Studies show that all it takes is 15-20 minutes for your body and brain to be refreshed. You’ll wake up feeling more energized, but not groggy from a long nap. This length of power-nap is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano.
A longer nap (30-60 minutes) helps boost memory and enhance creativity. This length of power-nap is good for decision making skills, such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions. However, you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and tired, which might last for 30 more minutes…
A nap of 60-90 minutes plays a key role in making new connections in the brain, and solving creative problems.
So if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by a wave of tiredness, consider a power nap! You may find that 15-20 minutes of rest will energize and refresh your body – allowing you to accomplish more, and be more effective than if you had pushed yourself through the day!