The Power of a Power Nap! Featured Image

Your Red Deer Personal Trainer expert explains the upsides and downsides when it comes to napping.

Of course babies, toddlers, and the elderly need frequent naps to get through the day. But what about adults?

Who has time for a nap, anyway? While some cultures around the world view naps as an acceptable break in the day, others regard people who nap as lazy and unambitious.

So what’s the truth about naps? Do they help you power through a long day or slow you down and prevent sound night sleep?

The next time you have a few extra minutes on your hands, your eyes feel heavy, and you’re wondering if you should take a nap, the following information from your Red Deer Personal Trainer may help you make your decision.

Nap Benefits

You stayed up late, the baby woke you up several times, or you just couldn’t sleep. It’s no wonder when the afternoon rolls around you feeling groggy, irritable, and can’t concentrate. While a nap won’t make up for lost nighttime sleep, it can help you get through the day. Short naps have been shown to make you more alert, reduce accidents, improve performance, and put you in a better mood.

They’re a simple way to relax and relieve tension when the day gets stressful. Similar to quiet time for an over-stimulated child, naps are like an adult time out.

Nap Drawbacks

Sound appealing? Naps can be beneficial when they’re the right length and at the right time of day. Naps that are too long, however, may hinder you from falling asleep at bedtime or cause sleep inertia. This means you slept long enough to fall into a deep sleep and wake still feeling sleepy, groggy, and disoriented.

You’ll snap out of it within a half hour, but sometimes you don’t have time to wait. Sleep-deprived people experience the most grogginess after waking from a nap. If you already have trouble sleeping soundly through the night, it’s probably not a good idea to nap.

Best Way to Nap

Naps can be a regular, habitual part of your day whether you feel sleepy or not, an emergency pick-me-up when you’re drowsy and need to accomplish something, or a planned time-out when you know you have a long drive or a late night ahead.

The best time of day to nap is early afternoon, usually somewhere between two and three p.m. At this time of the day, you’ve recently had lunch, your blood sugar starts to fall, and your energy begins to wane. Many people naturally feel sleepy at this time of day, possibly because their body clocks are programmed to sleep about seven hours after waking up. For most people, a brief nap at this time shouldn’t hinder you from falling asleep later that night.

To make it happen, find a comfortable and quiet place to rest. A darker environment is better, but you can wear a facemask if the room is too bright.

Keep your naps between 10 and 30 minutes. You may need to set an alarm to avoid sleeping longer or there’s a good chance you’ll wake feeling groggy.

Experimental Napping

Like the idea of naps but not sure they’re right for you? Try them out and see what time of day and length of nap work best for you.

Also, it’s a good idea to talk with your physician if you’re experiencing more daytime sleepiness than usual. Excessive sleepiness can be an indication of diabetes; depression; Parkinson’s disease; or a sleep disorder like apnea, narcolepsy, or restless leg syndrome.

Legendary Nappers

Enjoy a regular afternoon nap? You’re not alone. Napoleon Bonaparte, Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and John F. Kennedy were all nappers.

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That’s it everyone, now go give it a try! Maybe not at work, or while driving but you get the idea 🙂

PS – If you ever need any help with your fitness or health question we would love to help. You can leave a comment below or call us at 403 347 1707 and one of our amazing team members will get back to you right away.

Better yet, if you are ready to start your fitness journey and would like a helping hand from your Red Deer Personal Training experts, you can request a free consultation at www.360fitness.ca 

PPS – we are super stoked about the recent launch of our online shop! There you can take a look at our 7 Day Detox, our Cookbook and the super sweet 21 Day Challenge Online. Check it out here > www.360fitness.ca/onlineshop